Special Issue "Drones in Geography"

A special issue of Drones (ISSN 2504-446X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 October 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Anthony R. Cummings
Guest Editor
Geospatial Information Sciences, School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson TX 75080, USA
Interests: UAS; human–environment interactions; citizen science; natural resource monitoring
Dr. Adam J. Mathews
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Department of Geography, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008, USA
Interests: GIScience; remote sensing; UAS; lidar; geography
Dr. Stephanie R. Rogers
Guest Editor
Department of Geosciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
Interests: GIScience; remote sensing; UAS; water; environmental applications
Dr. Kunwar K. Singh
Guest Editor
Center for Geospatial Analytics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
Interests: urban and ex-urban land change; biological invasion; natural resources assessments; remote sensing data integration; light detection and ranging; UAV

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to invite you to submit manuscripts to the MDPI Drones Special Issue on “Drones in Geography”.

Low-cost and relatively easy-to-use drones (or unoccupied aerial/aircraft systems (UAS), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), and small remotely piloted aircraft (sRPA)) have enabled geographers to collect very high resolution (e.g., <2-cm spatial resolution) geospatial data and imagery at an unprecedented rate from a wide variety of remote sensors (e.g., multispectral, thermal, lidar, and atmospheric variables). Geographers from a variety of subfields (e.g., remote sensing, GIS, photogrammetry, geomorphology, and biogeography) have adopted drones to capture data for dynamic natural systems into their research to map and model geospatial processes. As leaders in geospatial science and technologies, geographers are vital to the advancement of the use of drones for mapping purposes (i.e., geographers commonly blend knowledge areas of photogrammetry, geographic information science, and remote sensing). This Special Issue will document a variety of research produced by geographers using drones as a geospatial tool, and how drones are being incorporated into geography education.

This Special Issue is inspired by the success of the UAS Symposium, organized by the editors and collaborators, held at the American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting in 2018 and 2019. The UAS Symposium has continued to bring together geographers from around the world to share their findings of drone applications through research presentations and posters, summarize and conceptualize the contributions of geographers to this developing subfield (i.e., drone remote sensing) through panel sessions, and more. While those who have participated in a previous symposium, or plan to participate in the 2020 UAS Symposium, are highly encouraged to submit a manuscript, we welcome and encourage submissions from geographers outside of this group.

Within this context, we invite manuscripts for this Special Issue on “Drones in Geography”. Papers are solicited in areas directly related to these topics, both conceptual and applied in nature, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Land use and land cover change
  • Citizen science and participatory mapping research
  • Invasive species mapping and modeling
  • Archaeology and cultural resource studies
  • Landscape modeling
  • Applications in land rights issues
  • Natural resources monitoring and management
  • Natural hazard assessment (e.g., earthquake, landslides, and sea-level rise)
  • Geomorphological and fluvial processes
  • Algorithmic advances in computer vision (e.g., structure from motion and multi-view stereo) for mapping purposes
  • Analytical developments in the areas of point cloud analytics, 3D analyses, geographic object-based image analysis (GEOBIA), etc.
  • Critique of drone mapping applications including ethical and legal issues
  • Drone integration into the higher education geography curriculum and/or in the higher education geography classroom
  • Measurement of (and integration with) social and cultural data (and methodologies).
Dr. Anthony R. Cummings
Dr. Adam J. Mathews
Dr. Stephanie R. Rogers
Dr. Kunwar K. Singh
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Drones is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • geography
  • geographic information science
  • remote sensing
  • drones
  • UAS
  • mapping
  • geospatial

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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