Well known for its use during the Haiti earthquake disaster response in 2010, OpenStreetMap has always relied heavily on crowdsourcing to refine its geospatial data. However, when U.S. airspace opens for Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operations in a little over 18 months, those efforts could receive a significant boost from a responsive eye in the sky approach. Bobby Sudekum of MapBox tells the story of a Sensefly's eBee flight over a Virginia winery earlier this month. Flight to detailed map in just a few hours:
(November 19, 2013, MapBox Blog)
Comment: Despite the FAA recently releasing a UAS integration plan for the U.S., as previously noted on this blog, this amazing technology will still be faced with two hurdles when it comes to use during a disaster response:
1.) Getting authorization to operate in the event's controlled airspace, and
2.) The inability of most EOCs to ingest and meaningfully use the imagery or resulting map products.