Next #geowebchat: Between the Parrot and the Predator: the present and future of civilian and military drones

In our next #geowebchat twitter discussion, we will be talking about the implications of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), colloquially called “drones”. The US military has become increasingly reliant upon the use of armed Predator and Reaper drones (and unarmed Global Hawk surveillance drones) in its operations overseas, and a recent filibuster by Senator Rand Paul has drawn attention to the possibility that military drones could be used for targeted killings within the borders of the United States.

Meanwhile, the cost of consumer drones has been dropping rapidly, with small remotely-controlled quadcopters like the “Parrot” AR.Drone retailing for only a few hundred dollars. The easy availability of civilian drones poses a new set of privacy concerns, as well as difficult challenges in managing an increasingly crowded airspace.

In our next chat, we will discuss the full range of drone technology, from large military UAVs to small civilian drones, including both remotely-piloted vehicles and the growing possibility of autonomous, self-guiding craft. We will discuss the frightening violent and surveillant aspects of drones, as well as the potential positive uses, including the application of drones for DIY aerial mapping or grassroots monitoring of environmental violations.

Join us at the usual time: 12pm PDT, 3pm EDT, 8pm BST, on Tuesday April 2, on twitter at the hashtag #geowebchat.

As always, everyone is welcome, and please forward this announcement to anyone who might be interested. After the chat, the discussion transcript will be posted here: http://mappingmashups.net/geowebchat/

Some further readings:

“Rand Paul filibusters the domestic drone”: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/03/201339114442314519.html

“Domestic drones and their unique dangers”: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/29/domestic-drones-unique-dangers

“Domestic Drones Stir Imaginations, and Concerns”: www.nytimes.com/2013/03/18/business/domestic-drones-on-patrol.html

“Using Drones to Capture Environmental Violations Makes Perfect Sense”: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2012/01/using-drones-capture-environmental-violations-makes-perfect-sense/47872/

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