Are Unlicensed UAVs a Threat to the Surveying Profession?

Updated: March 4, 2016

Are Unlicensed UAVs a Threat to the Surveying Profession?

An article at GPS World claims that the surveying profession is being threatened by the massive amounts of unlicensed UAVs (drones) flying around out there. This is giving me flashbacks to the days when people said that GPS was the doom of our industry. We’re still here, aren’t we?

That’s not to say that technology in general hasn’t played a part in the overall reduction of our profession in numbers. One could say that robotic total stations have seemingly replaced humans one-for-one. It may be true that the robot could potentially replace one human surveyor, but did it create other jobs related tomanufacturing, maintenance or in teaching others how to use it? Now I’m just arguing with myself…

Anyway, the point of the article is to say that unlicensed UAVs in the hands of non-professionals could be a threat to those who are paid to use them properly. This same point was made (and often still is) when GPS became a normal feature in mobile phones and other devices. The argument was that consumers would simply use their GPS-enabled devices in an attempt to establish their property corners. But doesn’t that just create more work for surveyors, fence builders, attorneys, etc.?

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Originally published on March 4, 2016

About the Author

Wendell T. Harness

I’ve been building online properties since the late 1980’s and transitioned to web design in 1999. I formed Harness Media in 2005 to help businesses grow through online marketing. I also talk to cats in a silly voice.

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