discussion / Drones  / 3 February 2017

Best Practice for Using Drones for Conservation: Let's create a living guidelines document


Hi everyone, 

There have been a couple of threads of conversation arising concurrently in the community that suggest there is a knowledge gap that we could collectively help fill. I'm bringing these together here to make it easier to track the progression of these efforts as we progress in developing these resources. 

In this thread about mapping caves in 3D, @Tomswinfield , @Felipe-Spina and I started discussing and then writing a short how-to for getting started mapping in 3D using drones. @Thomas+Starnes later joined and shared a similar, but nicely complementary guide he's been working on about a drones-to-GIS workflow (complete with images). 

In a seperate conversation, @twhitten has identified the need from a organisational senior management perspective (particularly for insurance/risk management purposes) for operational guidelines for teams using drones in the field. From discussions with other members it sounds like other organisations are starting to grapple with this challenge and are likewise developing these sorts of guidelines, so this might be a nice opportunity to avoid a replication of effort, share what we're developing so at least there is a base document that could be adjusted acording to individual organisational need. 

The live documents shared so far are available here: 

As a first step, @Tomswinfield and I suggest the most efficient approach might be to get some of the people who have already started creating these docs in a room together sometime in the next few weeks to hash out the major needs/questions and merge current work into one working doc. 

Once we have the bones of a living doc, we can open it up to the collaborative potential of our community and get your input. Things are changing so quickly with the accessiblity and use of drones in our work that we want this to be a living document that brings together the collective, global experience of our membership. 

If you're interested in participating, please join this conversation and share your ideas, even if it's just a confirmation of interest! Alternative suggestions on how to approach this or what else needs to be included are most welcome - hearing what you need will help us create something that is useful to as many people as possible.



cc-ing; @Shashank+Srinivasan @PirateLab @Lot @Marcelo @Gregg+Walker @ahughes_rspb , @csandbrook @Eric+Becker @maykef @dave @astenh @efegraus @jonathanknox.ffi  @P.Glover.Kapfer 


Thanks @StephODonnell  for pulling these threads together. WILDLABS is really well placed to become a platform for a collaborative document. As @Tomswinfield has pointed out, there is lots of really useful information out there but it is scattered across various fora and discussion threads; currently each of us need to put the pieces together independently. A central guidance/ workflow document that pools all of our collective knowledge and expertise is certainly called for, and it looks like this could be it.

@philine shared a resource internally here at FFI that might be of use or worth incorporating it into this document as a reference for further reading/info. I'm parking it here so it's not forgotten and so it's accessible to anyone coming to this thread for this type of infromation. 

Global Drone Regulations Database

This database is comprised of a country directory with summaries of national drone laws. The objective is to provide humanitarian and non-humanitarian actors with a database of relevant national regulations, additional resources, and links to original regulatory documents to ensure that drones are deployed safely and in compliance with national regulations.