I have some big news today. You will have to scroll through my usual terrible writing to get there though.
Space Veteran Landsat 7 Marks 15 Years of Observing Earth
Well that came quick. By no means am I an old guard of GIS, but I remember when 7 went up. As I have said many times, the Landsat program is a perfect example of how large federal projects can be successful. The data that has come out of the Landsat system is staggering. Free imagery that is routinely updated. Just about every US citizen has benefited from the program. Farmers, miners, engineers, people who drive to work, anybody who has ever looked at a picture of the country.
It is not even the free data. It is also the amount of commercial production that has been built on the back of this program. That is where a science literate country that utilizes strong and smart federal investment can dominate global tech development.
Japan Plans Commercial Centimeter Accurate GNSS
Speaking of strong federal programs. The GPS system, while flawed, is a benchmark system. When you are innovative as a country others will come to you. And then you get to 'consult' for a 'fee.' The adopting country benefits in that they can piggy back on that innovation without having to invest as heavily. In some cases countries can not invest in a system from the ground up.
And soon Japan will have centimeter accuracy. Not a bad direction to go.
Now on to the big news. At this point, even a cursory glance at my blog will indicate my love of UAVs. I think that the potential in the technology is high. There are so many industries that can benefit from these vehicles. Now that costs are coming down there are a lot of small mom and pop companies that can afford them and really push their respective industry. From the archaeology side I see tremendous benefit. From initial site visits to pedestrian surveys to block excavations. Ignoring the copious amounts of remote sensing that can be performed. Ignoring the automated mapping techniques. Just imagine having days old aerial imagery for your project. Imagine having that one specific photo that perfectly captures the impact to cultural resources that you are trying to report. Now imagine that you have a tool that can capture all of that.
I talk about UAVs all the time. At happy hour, or crabby hour as it usually ends up, I complain that no one uses them (I am ignoring that use of them is on the rise). I complain that people in CRM will not listen to me about it. I complain that I am not given the opportunity to implement them. And you know what I have done to fix it? Not much. I just complain on my blog. So I have decided to do something about it. No more complaints. No more beating my head against a blog.
I make reasonable amount of money and I have a graduate STEM degree. There is no reason I can not just get into the technology. It will not be cheap and it will not be easy, but I am going to build one and then start testing and documenting the techniques that I keep talking about as theoretically possible. Instead of, "Yeah, you COULD do it this way. And it SHOULD work this way." I can say, "It does do this and I can make that happen."
What does this all have to with the blog? I am going to document my progress! Pictures, maps, aerial imagery, and even a video or two will start appearing on here. I purchased most of my supplies last night and I should start to see a trickle of items appear in the mail starting on Saturday and, depending on US customs, continuing for the next few weeks. I am pretty excited. Even if it does not work out I will have one of the loudest most buzzingest toys in the neighborhood.