Alabama: SmartMap Apps Help with Drone Aerial Imaging

    Drone used by scientist at University of Florida. Photo: UF/IFAS

    Technology is the future. While technology has been in homes, businesses and classrooms for many years, now technology is also helping those who work and play outdoors. The newest SmartMap release from Alabama Extension—SmartMap 2.0—focuses on using low-cost unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) technology for video capture, forest mapping and other natural resource applications. SmartMap 1.0 introduced audiences to the world of geospatial mapping apps.

    Dr. Beau Brodbeck, an Alabama Extension forestry and wildlife management regional agent, said many people can benefit from the SmartMap 1.0 and 2.0 workshops.

    “Whether it be real estate firms, landowners, outdoorsmen or foresters, all can benefit from these workshops,” Brodbeck said.

    Learning Objectives

    At a SmartMap 2.0 workshop, participants can expect to learn about:

    • low-cost unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and sensors, including multi-spectral cameras
    • planning and executing UAS flights using web-based applications
    • UAS imagery applications and interpretation
    • exporting UAS imagery

    SmartMap 1.0 vs SmartMap 2.0

    The SmartMap 1.0 workshop provides participants with an introduction to UAV technology. SmartMap 2.0 is a more in-depth review of the apps used in planning and conducting UAS flights.

    “In 1.0, participants learn easily adoptable skills for mapping land management of timber, wildlife or recreational pursuits,” Brodbeck said. “In 2.0, the workshop explains in depth the UAV technology, applications and software needed to capture and generate forest imagery and maps.”

    The 1.0 and 2.0 workshops are stand-alone courses. Participants do not have to attend a 1.0 workshop to attend a 2.0 workshop.

    Workshops and Registration

    Currently, there are three SmartMap 1.0 and three SmartMap 2.0 workshops scheduled throughout the year. For more information on these dates and locations visit Alabama Extension online.

    The cost to register for each workshop is $50, which includes lunch. Each workshop is limited to 25 participants so, pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Programs with fewer than 10 pre-registered participants will be canceled. Visit the Alabama Extension Store here to register for a SmartMap 1.0 location. Visit the Alabama Extension Store here to register for a SmartMap 2.0 location.

    More Information

    For more information about the SmartMap workshops, visit here or email your questions to

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