Advances in high spatial resolution mapping capabilities and the new rules established by the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States for the operation of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) have provided new opportunities to acquire aerial data at a lower cost and more safely versus other methods. A similar opening of the skies for sUAS applications is being allowed in countries across the world. Also, sUAS can access hazardous or inaccessible areas during disaster events and provide rapid response when needed. Applications of Small Unmanned Aircraft systems: Best Practices and Case Studies is the first book that brings together the best practices of sUAS applied to a broad range of issues in high spatial resolution mapping projects. Very few sUAS pilots have the knowledge of how the collected imagery is processed into value added mapping products that have commercial and/or academic import. Since the field of sUAS applications is just a few years old, this book covers the need for a compendium of case studies to guide the planning, data collection, and most importantly data processing and map error issues, with the range of sensors available to the user community.

Written by experienced academics and professionals, this book serves as a guide on how to formulate sUAS based projects, from choice of a sUAS, flight planning for a particular application, sensors and data acquisition, data processing software, mapping software and use of the high spatial resolution maps produced for particular types of geospatial modeling.


  • Focus on sUAS based data acquisition and processing into map products
  • Broad range of case studies by highly experienced academics
  • Practical guidance on sUAS hardware, sensors, and software utilized
  • Compilation of workflow insights from expert professors and professionals
  • Relevant to academia, government, and industry
  • Positional and thematic map accuracy, UAS curriculum development and workflow replicability issues

This book would be an excellent text for upper-level undergraduate to graduate level sUAS mapping application courses. It is also invaluable as a reference for educators designing sUAS based curriculum as well as for potential sUAS users to assess the scope of mapping projects that can be done with this technology.

chapter 1|15 pages

sUAS Data Accuracy in Photogrammetric Workflows

ByQassim Abdullah, Riadh Munjy

chapter 2|18 pages

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Thematic Map Accuracy Assessment

ByRussell G. Congalton, Benjamin T. Fraser

chapter 3|21 pages

Multiuser Concepts and Workflow Replicability in sUAS Applications

ByJason A. Tullis, Katie Corcoran, Richard Ham, Bandana Kar, Malcolm Williamson

chapter 4|23 pages

The sUAS Educational Frontier: Mapping an Educational Pathway for the Future Workforce

ByJohn A. McGee, James B. Campbell

chapter 5|33 pages

Federal Government Applications of UAS Technology

ByBruce Quirk, Barry Haack

chapter 6|18 pages

sUAS for Wildlife Conservation – Assessing Habitat Quality of the Endangered Black-Footed Ferret

ByDonna M. Delparte, Kristy Bly, Travis Stone, Sarah Olimb, Michael Kinsey, Matthew Belt, Thomas Calton

chapter 8|22 pages

UAS for Nature Conservation – Monitoring Invasive Species

ByJana Müllerová

chapter 9|31 pages

Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) and Structure from Motion for Identifying, Documenting, and Monitoring Cultural and Natural Resources

ByMarguerite Madden, Thomas Jordan, Sergio Bernardes, Cari Goetcheus, Kristen Olson, David Cotten

chapter 10|24 pages

New Insights Offered by UAS for River Monitoring

BySalvatore Manfreda, Silvano Fortunato Dal Sasso, Alonso Pizarro, Flavia Tauro

chapter 12|13 pages

Flying UAVs in Constrained Environments: Best Practices for Flying within Complex Forest Canopies

ByRamesh Sivanpillai, Gregory K. Brown, Brandon S. Gellis