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lecture: Using Open Source Tools to Visualize Spatial Activity Drone Restrictions

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Drone service providers are currently spending a lot of time on researching which permissions they need to fly their drones over a certain area. Today, most governmental regulations forbid to operate drones nearby transportation infrastructures or urban environments. In our talk we present a web application build based on open source tools to visualize such geographically-bound activity restrictions and therefore ease the process for drone service providers.


The resulting system makes it possible for drone service providers to draw a flight path and receive immediate feedback on which permissions they will need to fly their drones in a specific area. A user is also enabled to edit the flight path to omit certain features and view live changes on the map and the instruction list.


The project is implemented using a PostGIS database to store the space usage rules (SURs) (in our case the drone regulation of a specific country). A potential flight path drawn in an OpenLayers map by the user is send to the back-end which returns the regulations enforced in that area. In the front–end WFS-requests are performed to check whether the SURs apply to the specified flight path (i.e. when one or more features triggering certain rules are close enough to the flight path). Geoserver is used to create these WFS’s, the geometries of the features are extracted from OpenStreetMap. All instructions for the flight path are visualized in an instruction list linked to the maps highlighting the features in OpenLayers and in Cesium.