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Introduction to Drone Aerial imaging for Mapping, Survey and Photogrammetry.

My personal review of the Introduction to drone aerial imaging for mapping course held by ThinkWhere and presented by Andy Carman.

Introduction to Drone Aerial imaging for Mapping, Survey and Photogrammetry.
Overall Ranking: 10/10
Price: £595
Owner: Andy Carman
Websites: &


If you are considering adding various services to compliment your drone operations aerial mapping is probably very high on your list. I was in the same situation and discovered Andy’s course its one I would highly recommend the valuable experience I gained over the 2 days is second to none. I personally found you can teach yourself so much from the internet, and attending various webinars but then I hit a bump in the road. This is where Andy comes in, as I found out what I had read and understood previously was fine but I didn’t have the basics entirely sussed therefore didn’t completely understand certain aspects therefore I didn’t entirely know what I could and couldn’t output for clients. Andy’s course pointed me in the right direction without even having to ask the questions I had at the ready. It is laid out in a nice systematic way and after the two day course was complete I now feel more confident than ever to approach clients and discuss the data they may need provided. I also know the limitations for what can and cannot be done with certain sensors(camera’s) in certain situations.


The major benefit in attending this course will not only allow you to verify the data you acquire confidently it will allow you to pass on your Newly gained knowledge to potential client and give you confidence to deliver a final product that will be more than satisfactory.


This course is designed and suited for anyone with an interest in drone mapping and wants to further their knowledge.


The training material is presented and delivered via PowerPoint with all slides given to you in a hardback manual, there is also very VERY handy information passed digitally(this you will have to go on the course to find out more about and worth its weight in gold. You can follow along and take notes and you keep the manual when completed.

The manual layout and the way it is presented flows well and is easy to follow.

You will complete and run through a complete example and working project to make sure you have grasped the concepts and what you would need to go on to do confidently,


Both Andy and ThinkWhere where more than accommodating and helpful throughout the course providing adequate snacks and refreshments throughout. Andy provides access to his private facebook group after the course and its a great way to build your knowledge and ask and future questions you may have.


I found the price to be very fair and thought I received great value for money. Andy was more than happy to answer an other questions I had after the class was finished for the day.


One thing that become very apparent is drone inspections and mapping overlap, as I found out it all comes down to the sensor and a little bit of maths and with the right set up you can identify something as small as a fixing (screwhead), this may have a head less than 1cm. This is also critical when mapping and setting up your GCPS as you want to make sure you can identify the very centre of your marker again this will be tiny, not only that you want to make sure you can see the important points on the ground your client is interested in, like I mention before it’s all about some simple maths but it only became simple and clear once I had been on the ARC aerial image mapping course.

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Police drone rescue

police drone rescue image Lincolnshire

I find this latest article by the BBC to be very relevant to my drone blog and I think it proves the police are using the latest technologies to their advantage. It is also a great example of how drones can be used quickly and efficiently to perform search and rescue operations while reducing costs compared to what would have been a helicopter operation only a few years ago.

Police carry out a successful search for a missing man who was suffering of hypothermia in the freezing temperatures on Sunday the 25 of February 2018 in the early hours of the morning. They used a special imaging camera to hunt for the man’s heat signature and he is located by the police in Lincolnshire.

I am unsure of the drone model or type of camera they used, but it is a great result for all involved.

Note: You can view the video footage below captured by the drone and read the BBC News article.

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Drone safety tips for your business

Futurephoto MDB Marine hi-vis vest drone safety

Futurephoto hi-vis vest drone safety

Safety is one of the most important things not only to stop people from getting hurt but to manage a good reputation. A compromise in safety can lead to injury, damage and loss of reputation which a small drone business or any business for that matter cannot afford. Many industry’s adopt a safety culture where there minimum standards can be developed. As a minimum the drone industry the drone code should be followed. As the industry has grown it is obvious people take silly risks to get that one video or picture, these risks put other people’s life’s in danger especially when flown near passenger aircraft. This can be done intentionally or when he rules to in place to follow and respect rules are unknown. When a consumer purchases a drone for the first they can be nervous and hesitant with their drone to protect and not damage it, but as like with everyday life when you become confident you start to push the boundaries, in the drones case flying to its maximum distance and height using only your tablet or phone to view, this can cause problems as now you no longer have VLOS or visual line of sight and unaware of your surroundings only to find an electricity wire will bring a quick end to your drone. Wind can be another fact when pushing the limits you may find the wind speed further away or between buildings soon take hold or your drone and suddenly you have a fly away where the drone may end up.

Below are some Drone Safety Tips:

  • Carry out a pre-site survey/ risk assessment
  • Check your airspace
  • Check for NOTAMs on the day of mission/flight
  • Make sure everything is updated and fully charged (Tablet/computer/Controller)
  • Make sure you have the correct insurance
  • Barrier off your take-off and landing zone
  • Use a fully charged battery before every flight, Check your home point is updated and calibrate your drone at each location
  • Display your signs, having a second person to explain the task and watch the barriered area can be advantageous.
  • Maintain the correct distance from people and structures
  • Always maintain Visual line of sight, watching the display can distract you from and obvious collision.

Disclaimer: These are some personal Drone Safety Tips i can offer but as always it is up to you to make sure you are

following the correct practices and laws.

When training for your  permission for commercial operations you will be shown the correct way to plan and risk asses your jobs and evaluate all the information to make the educated decision if the job is safe to carry out. The minimum equipment you require will be documented within your operations manual.

  • Hi-Vis Vests
  • Hard Hat
  • Safety Glasses
  • Cut resistant gloves
  • LiPo Bags
  • Take-Off mat
  • Fire Blanket/Fire Extinguisher for electronic equipment
  • Barrier tape
  • Signs
  • Cones Pop up one’s are a popular choice
  • First Aid Kit

Other Safety Equipment has been designed to enhance the safety culture for the drone industry, this may also assist when applying for exemptions as certain requirements from clients maybe risk assessed as too dangerous without taking the extra precautions. Examples of this equipment could be:

  • Drone Parachute – One of the first ideas you may come up with would be a parachute and there is a few providers out there, Mars Parachute’s probably being one of the most popular. You could also try ParaZero and their SafeAir system. Both of these companies offer a solution for most if not all types of drones on the market.
  • Drone Safety Tether- This allows your drone to be tethered to a ground control unit which can provide power to the drone and allows the drone to hold its position in very strong winds. Drone aviation corp provide specifically designed tether drones and also have a tether system called Fuse


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Stunning drone light shows

Light shows are nothing new and have been used to create great visual effects for years, but drones are now muscling in on the act with synchronized light shows.

EHang a drone manufacturer put on a display of 1000 GhostDrone 2.0 to mark the Chinese Lateran festival a great show but Intel are leading the way

Intel have now broken their own record at the Korean Winter Olympics with over 1200 drones performing an amazing display and showing the world what their shooting star drones are capable of.

Kicking off the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, viewers from around the globe were treated to a record-breaking light show during the opening ceremony. Intel is providing drone technology at the Olympic Winter Games in South Korea. (Credit: Intel Corporation)


Famous outings for Intels shooting star drones have included the American super bowl, a previous record of 500 drones synchronized outdoor set in Germany and evening displays at Disney  springs, in collaboration with Walt Disney to create an Christmas holiday evening show for guests. Another event performed buy Intel which I could describe as a practice session in January 2018 was above the belagio in Las Vegas where 250 drones flew synchronized together with the fountains making a great start for 2018, but the Olympic opening ceremony has certainly earned them top spot. The hard work and effort Intels engineers and drone team would have put in must have given them a well deserved sense of achievement. The pre-flight paperwork must have been a real headache. A smaller show of the shooting star mini’s broke the 100 indoor drone record possibly more difficult due to obstacles tight spaces and the lack of GPS.

The Intel Shooting Star Mini drone is the company’s first drone designed and built to enable indoor light show experiences. It is designed with a super-lightweight structure and propeller guards for safety. Its light source can create more than 4 billion color combinations designed for visually stunning aerial displays. (Credit: Intel Corporation)



Shooting Star drones. Intel is providing drone technology at the Olympic Winter Games in South Korea. (Credit: Intel Corporation)


The Work Horse – Intels Falcon 8+

But do not be fooled by Intels shooting star drones these guys have a serious work side as well and produce the Intel Falcon 8+ these are advanced commercially used drones with redundancy features and are used by CyberHawk a leader in commercial drone operations



The Intel Falcon 8+ System, an advanced drone with full electronic system redundancy, is outfitted for industrial inspection, surveying and mapping geared toward professionals and experts. (Credit: Intel Corporation)