All posts by Juan B. Plaza

The Citation photogrammetry jet approaches Pico de Orizaba, the third highest peak in North America at 18,491 feet above sea level, on a photogrammetry mission.

Citation (Jet) Needed: A Start-Up Takes Off

A wealthy investor on the other end of the line said, “Juan, I understand you are photogrammetrist and a pilot. Are you ready for a challenge? I bought six Citation jets in a government auction, and I want you to help me turn them into a modern aerial photography platform.” For those of us who...

BVLOS

Beyond visual line of sight is the next frontier for UAVs. The FFA’s Part 107 rule allows for routine civil operation of small unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAV) in the National Airspace System (NAS) and provides safety rules for those operations. Since this implementation almost two years ago, more than 70,000 drone pilot applications have been...

In the early 1990s our attempts to eliminate ground control were by establishing a fixed base at the airport and a rover on the plane. Using post-processing software, we were able to add precise coordinates to each photograph.

We Are Aviators First

With UAS, surveyors are becoming aviators. As we adopt new technology, we should heed old advice. I flew my first photogrammetric mission in the early 1980s while I was completing my geodesy degree during tumultuous times at my alma mater. While the rest of the world had disco fever, students at Universidad Central de Venezuela...

Exceeding the Limits

Forensic survey technology is now a need rather than a luxury as Latin America’s urban concentration accelerates. For decades the art and science of determining how a crime was commit-ted and how a car crash occurred has relied on expert hypotheses based on personal experience and memory. Experts have used tape measures, cameras, and paper...

All Over the Map

The regulations and uses of UAVs for mapping in Latin America are as diverse as those cultures, but their drivers are much the same as we see here in the United States. Using manned airplanes for aerial photography and photogrammetry is an especially expensive proposition for countries south of the Rio Grande. The reasons are...

What’s ROI?

In 2008 after a nine-year run selling GIS software, it was time for me to move on. I received an offer to head the western region sales team for a GPS company competing in the difficult fleet management market. This career move was based on my belief that GPS applications have a lot in common...