Albemarle students learn about drone mapping skills

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A group of students at Albemarle High School are learning how to make maps and models of the area from a bird's-eye view.

Students from the geospatial technology class went outside the classroom Friday morning to learn how to use a drone with an instructor from Skyclad Aerial.

Chris Bunin, a geospatial technology teacher at AHS, brought in Skyclad Aerial to give students three training classes on how to use a drone.

"We had Skyclad Aerial come in and do the third installment of training students on how to use drone technology for videography, photography and photogrammetry," said Bunin. "Photogrammetry is like how to create real-time stitched aerial imagery out of high resolution."

The images the drone takes from the sky are turned into data, which can be used to create 2-D maps and 3-D models.

The experience is showing students, like Syndey Holdren, how they can use drones in their future careers.

"The career field I want to go in is with geospatial," said Holdren. "With like listing and looking at disaster zones and the aftermath of natural disasters."

Matteus Frankovich, operations director for Skyclad Aerial, led the training course and said it's a valuable lesson that can pay off for students after they graduate.

"Developing these skill sets among students meaning familiarity with unmanned aerial vehicles, robotics," said Frankovich. "There's a tremendous tie-in with workforce opportunities that are existing presently and coming to be in the next few years."

Bunin also hopes the training can give students a chance to become local pioneers for drone technology in the school community.

"Our goal is that we will now have the skill set to mimic what the folks out in the real world are using drones for and to be able to be a center for students and teachers and others to use the drones," he said.

Bunin said they're looking to have a group of students and teachers who can teach other people about drone technology as interest rises.

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