Malta Today: Drones will map out 2,500 kilometres of Malta’s roads for new database. “Aerial photos of over 2,500 kilometres of roads in Malta and Gozo will be captured by specialised drones during the next few weeks, starting from the northern parts of Malta. These images will then be processed to develop a new Geographic Information System (GIS) containing orthophoto maps of Malta’s road network as well as digital road surface models, road condition and damage data that can be used to establish reconstruction prioritisation levels.” I had never heard the term “orthophoto” before, but GIS Lounge enlightened me.
Ecns: Drones increasingly used to protect Great Wall. “The use of drones helps human inspectors gain a precise understanding of the preservation of the Great Wall at delicate levels and reveals more information on areas difficult for people to access. Yanqing has the most extensive Great Wall elements in the capital city as well as a complete preservation system. Authorities said drones, satellite images and other new technologies will provide the most comprehensive, accurate data on the Great Wall to create a digital archive platform.”
CBR: DJI Drone Hack Opens Up Flight and Video Records to Threat Actors. “The research team at cybersecurity firm Check Point discovered a vulnerability which allowed hackers to gain access to the flight logs and videos capture by DJI drone operators. Headquartered in China, DJI is one of the world’s largest producer of drones and quadcopters for the consumer market. Check Point researchers Oded Vanun, Dikla Barda and Roman Zaikin discovered that an attacker could gain access to DJI customer accounts without the account holder being aware that the saved flight paths and footage from their drones were accessible.”
The Verge: This online community expands visibility for female drone pilots. “Less than 5 percent of certified drone pilots in the US are women, which is a dreary statistic that highlights the lack of women in STEM industries. The number for women who fly recreationally is likely much higher, but being FAA-certified can open up career opportunities to enter the UAV industry, a fact many likely aren’t aware of. To close the knowledge gap, Elena Buenrostro started Women Who Drone, an online community where female drone pilots, photographers, and videographers can come together and learn from each other.” This site’s apparently been around for a year but it’s new-to-me. I’m also really surprised Zoe Stumbaugh’s not on the site.
Washington Post: Google CEO quietly met with military leaders at the Pentagon, seeking to smooth tensions over drone AI. “Google chief executive Sundar Pichai quietly paid the Pentagon a visit during his trip to Washington last week, seeking to smooth over tensions roughly four months after employee outrage prompted the tech giant to sever a defense contract to analyze drone video, according to two people familiar with the meeting.”
Mashable: Facebook isn’t building massive drones anymore. “Four years ago, Facebook shared with the world its ambitious dream of building massive drones. Today, that dream is dead. In a Tuesday blog post, the company announced the end of its Aquila program, an effort to construct a ‘high altitude platform station system’ (read: massive drones) that sought to bring high-speed internet access — and, of course, access to Facebook — to an estimated 4 billion people across the globe who do not have it.”
Bloomberg Quint: Google AI Used by Pentagon Drone Project in Rare Test. “Google’s artificial intelligence technology is being used by the U.S. Department of Defense to analyze drone footage, a rare and controversial move by a company that’s actively limited its work with the military in the past.”