Divisions and Committees
ASPRS Position on the use of UAS in Mapping and Remote Sensing
Approved at Fall 2013 Meeting
Date: 26 September 2013
UAS based solutions for mapping and remote sensing, and implementation of these within the US are a given.
The timeframe is dependent on the finalization of applicable regulation by the FAA, and assumption that Congress
and the State Legislatures will not be passing legislation that will prohibit application of these technologies as
additions to the portfolio of tools and technologies that are already being used for mapping and remote sensing.
ASPRS, as a scientific association with members worldwide, would be amiss if it does not actively participate in the
evolution and introduction of new technologies and methods – such as UAS - that build upon the society’s historical
roots in imaging science and technology in the form of photogrammetry and remote sensing.
Our membership, who is focused on earth imaging in the sense of primary data acquisition as well as information
extraction from image data for varies purposes, can only grow if we provide the environment and opportunity for them
to learn, share and experience geographic information science in terms of the ASPRS vision as stated by Dr
Lillesand: "…. We are attempting to move geospatial information science, technology, and application forward as a
holistic enterprise - one that recognizes the interdependence among the academic, public, and private sectors in this
whole arena. We want to simultaneously maximize the scientific, societal, and commercial benefits to be realized
from geospatial information into the next century.”1
With the above as background the objectives for UAS activities by ASPRS are as outlined below.
The objectives of ASPRS's UAS related activities are as follows:
- Recognize that Unmanned Aerial Systems, as part of a larger Robotics landscape, presents exciting additions to a well established existing mapping and remote sensing science and technology portfolio.
- Cast a wide net by recognizing robotic systems, and Unmanned Aerial Systems, in particular, the context of ASPRS’s Holistic Vision for Geospatial Information Science, Technologies and Applications.
- Educate the public, the media and our elected representatives about the scientific, societal, and commercial benefits to be realized in the US from this evolving geospatial information technology.
- Educate the public, the media and our elected representatives on the differences between the military, law enforcement and peaceful/commercial use of these technologies – in the process specifically addressing the contrasts between surveillance and mapping / remote sensing, to move the discussion beyond privacy concerns.
- Outlines ASPRS’s cooperation with other stakeholder communities, societies and organizations (FAA, AUVSI etc) in the development of an enabling environment supportive of the use of UAS in Geographic Information Science: ASPRS of course being the go-to association for UAS technology applied to geographic information science.
- Explores the need for new certifications, or changes to certification criteria, to address UAS specific topics as applied to mapping and remote sensing.
- Explores the need for new guidelines and standards, or changes to existing guidelines and standards, to address UAS specific topics as applied to mapping and remote sensing.
- Continue to inform our membership, and other relevant stakeholders, on the regulatory landscape for UAS as it evolves.
UAS Task Force Recommendations (in Progress)