UAS Flight Captures Esri MUG Meeting

Blog Post created by rweeden-esristaff Employee on May 5, 2017

At the end of April, the Esri Mid-Atlantic User Group (Esri MUG) held its spring meeting on the UMBC campus in Shady Grove MD. Esri and the MUG board hosted a full day of presenters, and just under 100 people attended! Special thanks to everyone who participated by presenting:


  • ArcGIS Platform Presentation - Lauri Dafner and Daniel Wickens, Esri
  • Spatial Analysis of Crime in Harrisonburg - Avery Smith, JMU
  • Scaling Existing GIS Models for Work with High Data Resolution - Kathy Maglio, Eastern Shore Regional Cooperative
  • The College Food Desert - Doug Meneely, West Chester University
  • Loudoun and the GeoHub - Susan Carlson, Loudoun County
  • Baltimore Neighborhood Alliance Objectives - Cheryl Knott, University of Baltimore
  • USPS Data Conversion Tools - Alex Din, Siddarth Pandey, Dewberry
  • Predicting Impacts of Sea Level Rise in Southeastern Louisiana - Maddie Callaghan, West Chester University
  • Implementation of a Snow AVL System in Washington DC - David Koehler, DC Dept. of Public Works
  • 3D Design Model of West Chester, PA - Gary Coutu, West Chester University
  • Assessing ADA Compliance - Marian Batton, JMT Technology Group
  • Cost-effective and User-Friendly GIS tools to meet TMDL Requirements - Peter Mattejat, Jen Murno-Black, Maryland Transportation Authority
  • GIS Generated Street Tree Inventory - Beth Schrayshuen, EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc.
  • Preparing for a Geospatial Career - Julie Spangler, JMT, Patrick Callahan, Prince George’s County

In addition to these speakers, we welcomed Esri partner Dewberry and Remote Intelligence as two companies who provided outdoor demonstrations on mobile GIS and mapping with Unmanned Aerial Systems, respectively. Luckily, we had beautiful weather!

After discussing some of the basics of UAS, Remote Intelligence owner Gene Huntington started his mapping mission (after taking a few group photos, of course):

Attendees really had fun learning about UAS up close and personal - thank you, Gene!

After the user group meeting, Gene shared the imagery from the mapping mission - I was excited to try my hand at creating an orthomosaic from the images using Drone2Map, which I'd seen some local government customers I work with do quickly and easily. Gene shared almost 200 JPEG images with me via Google Drive:

I downloaded them, launched Drone2Map and created a new rapid mapping project (the fastest way to generate an ortho). Right away, the image locations and flight path were generated - you can see them below on top of Esri's imagery basemap:

I started the processing, and within 25 minutes I had created a new orthomosaic (the boundary is outlined in red):

Here is the before and after, side-by-side (curious how I knew the 'before' date for the image on the left? You can find out the vintage and metadata of Esri's imagery by clicking an area of interest in this web map. Thanks, Nick Patel!):

If Gene and I had processed this imagery right after the flight, we'd have flown, captured and created the new imagery product in about an hour. Imagine the benefits to local government customers who could work with timely, rapidly-acquired imagery to support their work in:

  • Site monitoring
  • Emergency response
  • Event planning and support
  • Infrastructure inspection
  • Land analysis and site selection
  • Economic development and tourism


What additional use cases can you think of?


The Esri MUG Spring Meeting was a fun event with a series of diverse and interesting presentations. Keep an eye out for an announcement about an upcoming Fall conference - hopefully the weather won't be too cold and we can get back outside!