Damage Assessment Post -Storms

Intergraph has put out a recent blog post interview on rapid damage assessment after storms knock out power grid networks.  It talks about damage assessments taken via traditional GIS ways like tablet data capture, improved network assessments at the control center which speeds up power restoration to customers.

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UAV Usage in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Public Radio had a recent story on UAVs in the state.  As in other places, operators are looking at the agriculture sector to gather imagery.  Law enforcement agencies have used UAVs for aerial pursuit of suspected criminals.

Any operations are restricted by Act 213, signed into place in 2013 that it is illegal to photograph someone or someplace with a reasonable expectation of privacy.  As the article mentions, it is a broad wording and it mentions a flight over a private corporate property and charges were brought against the UAV operators.

Wisconsin is one of the more restrictive states per statue today, time will tell if the laws can evolve for a maximum amount of legal data capture.

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Online Waveform LiDAR Processing

Joanna Setkowicz has a good instructional post in Online Waveform LiDAR Processing with Terrestrial Scanning.  The  article mentions using target range, amplitude, reflectance and pulse shape deviation to be able to get points that can then be processed into 3D forms after classification.  The article is well worth the read and will give you more insight on what happens between the time the laser pulse hits the object and the final 3D output.

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Reliable, Fast Internet on Farms

As I have mentioned in previous posts, reliable internet in rural areas is hard to come by in some places.  It can also enable a technology data revolution on the farm if it can be provided.  ABC Rural has a good story on this, it mentions livestock tag tracking in the story, which has been mentioned here, but it also includes new farming equipment with the data processing built in for precision agriculture but also UAV deployment into the fields for local and possible broader use (depends on what the farm owner/operator decides on with data agreements with third parties).

The story mentions point to point WiFi being used to provide broadband, which is also available in many places locally across Minnesota, there are providers in west central Minnesota and other locations that have the infrastructure to provide this to many operations.

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Emerging UAV Use in Agriculture Areas

KXNews out of Bismarck, North Dakota had a good recent story on evaluations of UAVs in agriculture by North Dakota State University over a field east of Williston, North Dakota.  It shows an test flight at 200ft grabbing IR imagery for crop health and the launching and has an interview with the head of the NDSU program and he mentions that some farmers will operate their own UAVs, others will use UAV consultants to fly when needed.

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Australia’s Northern Territory Launches Real Time Emergency Map

A recent story in ABC Rural talks about the recent launch of a real time emergency map system in the Northern Territory region of the country.  It is a real time map of fire and auto accident events that was produced with Google Maps for $20,000.  They are joining other parts of the country and world with similar systems.

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UAV Industry And Ending of the Current Tech Funding Bubble

Technology growth cycles move quickly and the UAV industry is not immune to it.  The growth over the last year in the United States and across the world is opening up applications to a large, varied usage base with more coming all the time.

Part of this is fueled by growth by loosened regulations (e.g. FAA), others have been from a open purse for funding of many different ventures which goes beyond the UAV market.  TechCrunch put out a recent article that the technology market is nearing another funding bubble like one around 15 years ago.  This means a coming shakedown for viable ventures in the greater technology world along with the sub-market of UAVs.

In basic Market Strategy literature, the Product Life Cycle talks about the basic phases of product development from introduction to retirement.  You can read about it here.  Late in 2014 the market moved from the Introduction phases to the Growth phase and with the technology funding bubble and so many possible applications, a market transition to the Maturity phases is coming as the viability of many applications will be put to the test.  As funding is expected to slow down, the applications of UAVs will have to be viable to continue to evolve in the future.  Some will be related to traditional remote sensing/aerial survey, some will be for unrelated flight activities.

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