Drone Popularity Soars as Creative Uses Multiply


From a distance, it looked like a full-sized aircraft, photographing a sprawling ranch-style house set in landscape that was “far from the madding crowd,” as novelist Thomas Hardy would have said.

Except this was a pint-sized drone hired by a real estate agent to take high-end aerial photos of a newly listed property.

From Amazon and Google to landscapers, real estate companies, even party planners, the peaceful uses of drones seem limitless. And already, unmanned aerial vehicles (drones, for short) are soaring around your neighborhood. For goodness sake, even household maven Martha Stewart has one to photograph parties.

But, as noted in a recent article on Houzz, not everyone can fly them.

Photographer Greg Eymundson, who uses his drone to photograph properties for real estate ads, told Houzz writer Mitchell Parker that it “takes a steady hand and hours of flight time to master most drones.” Most people use smartphones or tablets to control them.

It also takes creative, outside-the-box thinking. Eymundson describes his drone flying alongside wild horses and following the course of a stream in his real estate videos. One architect takes hundreds of photos to get the lay of the land before designing a building to complement it, and in a piece for LinkedIn, Dr. Hossein Eslambolchi, chairman and CEO of CyberFlow Analytics, noted that drones can find lost children and hikers … and parking spaces – plus, they have “educational and recreational applications, and can even be used to perform sports analytics.”

Questions remain: Can anyone buy one? (The answer to-date is, “Yes.”) And what about safety, noise, and privacy concerns? Some U.S. states are trying to lay down regulations around the use of drones, mostly in relation to invasion of privacy. And, as enthusiasts point out, drones fly at a level where they don’t interfere with commercial aircraft.

But as more drones take flight, undoubtedly more concerns will follow.