Mapping with Drones – Professional Development Workshops

Location:  Virtual (Zoom)!!!

What: 3-day workshop. Mapping with Drones

Who: Local / State / Federal government employees, Private industry, Natural resource professionals, Planning professionals, Public safety professionals, Planning District Commission (PDC) employees, Extension agents / specialists, Agricultural operators, Educators, Realtors, Inspection teams, etc.

Topic: Mapping with Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS)

Additional Information: Is available via the Workshop Website à 

Online Registration   (credit card or e-check payments accepted.

When*:  This is a 3 day virtual workshop.  Three workshop options are available:

  • October 19-21, 2021
  • December 14-16, 2021
  • January 11-13, 2022


*General agenda: Day #1, 9:00 – 5:00 | Day #2, 9:00 – 5:00 | Day #3, 9:00 – 5:00 with breaks for coffee & lunch

Cost: General registration for the 3-day Mapping with Drones Workshop is $200.  Workshop materials & supplies will be mailed in advance (via mail) to participants.  Since books and other handout material will  be purchased and be mailed to each participant, participants are encouraged to complete the registration process (and payment) at least 4 weeks in advance of each workshop. Major credit cards or e-check payment options are accepted via Virginia Tech’s secure online system.

Workshop Summary
Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) are permeating many sectors of industry, and are increasingly being employed as data collection platforms to support of an array of applications. Applications span disciplines and industries and can include: planning, natural resource management, marketing, inspection of structures, agricultural production, permitting, and public safety. Specific sensors can be used to tailor application needs. Flights can be scheduled and conducted under short notice to accommodate weather, and temporal considerations. sUAS operations support efficient workflows and provide opportunities for ‘data on demand’.

This is an intensive, yet introductory level workshop, and is considered a ‘drone education boot camp’. No previous knowledge or experience with drones, sUAS, or GIS is required. The workshop will provide participants with the following:

  • An understanding of FAA and sUAS lingo;
  • A comprehensive knowledge of current federal commercial sUAS regulations;
  • In-depth discussions of sUAS platforms (fixed wing and multi-rotor), sensors (including true color, NIR, multispectral, thermal), and associated applications;
  • sUAS project workflows, including;
    • Compliance with FAA regulations and safe practices;
    • An overview of sUAS operation planning software, check sheets, and smartphone apps;
    • A comprehensive presentation and demonstration of image processing software techniques and options (image mosaics, NDVI, etc.)


Workshop Outcomes

At the conclusion of the workshop, participants will:

  • be prepared to take (and pass) the FAA’s Remote Pilot Knowledge Test (aka Part 107);
  • have the knowledge to be able to identify applications that may be appropriate for sUAS data collection;
  • understand the steps required to plan, conduct, and document a commercial sUAS operation safely and legally;
  • be able to identify suitable platforms and sensors to support their application needs;
  • generate image mosaics, compatible with numerous software applications (including GIS, remote sensing, etc.) using drone imagery.


Online registration is required ( Major credit card & e-check payments are accepted via Virginia Tech’s Secure Online Website.

  • After you complete your online registration you will:
    • receive further information about the workshop (login information, etc.)
    • receive a receipt (via email)
  • All workshops will be conducted through ZOOM.
  • Space is limited.
  • There are a limited number of subsidized registrations for VCE agents, and are unable to guarantee all requests.


Questions associated with the workshop should be directed to John McGee ( or Daniel Cross (