Unmanned Aerial Vehicle – A Tool for Acquiring Spatial Data for Research and Commercial Purposes. New Course in the Geography and Cartography Curriculum in Higher Education
- University of Wroclaw, Institute of Geography and Regional Development, Department of Geoinformatics and Cartography, Wrocław, Poland
Keywords: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, curriculum, Geography and Cartography, Higher Education
Abstract. This paper describes the syllabus for the innovative course "Unmanned aerial observations of Terrain" introduced to the curriculum by the Department of Geoinformatics and Cartography of the University of Wroclaw (Poland). It indicates the objectives of the new subject, its didactic purpose, methods used in the teaching process, specifications of teaching materials, and the knowledge and skills that students are expected to acquire. Finally, it presents the content of the course and description of lesson units.
The subject will be obligatory for graduate students majoring in Geography, who are participants in the Geoinformatics and Cartography Master's program. Thirty-eight hours in a summer semester has been earmarked for the course. That includes 30 hours of instructor-guided laboratory and fieldtrip work, and 8 hours of individual work.
The course aims to prepare future geographers to conduct a multi-step process that includes defining the purpose of using UAV in light of the chosen research problem, preparation of the mission, flight execution; geoprocessing of acquired aerial imagery; generation of cartomertic final products, and analysis of outcomes in order to answer the initially asked research question. This comprehensive approach will allow students, future experts in the field of geoinformatics and cartography, to gain the skills needed to acquire spatial data using an UAV, process them, and apply the results of their analysis in practice.