The role of drones in surveying


“You are stealing jobs!”, I get this response from time to time.
Me: “How?”

them: “Well,” waving hands around, “…you know, drones n’ stuff! Lasers, its all crazy! You awful human, stealing our jobs with robots!!” waving hands and the wild look in their eyes.

Me: LOL… “Okay, but have you ever been out on a job? What is the difference between me and my assistant walking the 160 acres, or me and the assistant flying 160acres? We still need instruments.”

them: “Well, yeah… but drones!”

Me: “Makes no difference if I have at total station or a R2A. However, I can do more work, quickly, with better results!”

them: “But all those people who need work…”

Me: “it only makes what we do, better! More accurate and efficient, with better results using less resources. We still need a team to capture the data, process the data and work with the data.”

In my research, it is interesting to note that people feared many types of industrial advancement, from simple assembly line mechanics, to automobiles, to those famous people in history that said aviation was nothing more than a passing fad! Yet, none of these advancements really replaced anybody, just merely aided and advanced our humanity.

It is the same with drones and whatever we decide to do with them. Its another novel way to complete our work and this time, the tech tools are pretty sexy.

If you think this will take everyone’s job, than I must ask you your opinion on:
rock versus hammer,
flint knife versus metal knife,
modern printing press versus hand stenography,
horse versus mechanized…

All of these are disruptive technologies that enriched our humanity, made us more productive and more prosperous.
Don’t fear the drones, the revolution, fear not being part of it!


This is art. I may frame it in my office.

Ha, yes I love this argument… “all those people who need work”… as though you’d hire 20 more crew members to capture the 160 acres by hand (and pass the “savings” onto your client)… :wink: