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Can a City in Ohio use a Phantom for project photos

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dhuff44, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. dhuff44

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    I work for a small city in Ohio and have taken a few aerial pictures with my Phantom that the higher ups liked. They would prefer me not to use my personal Phantom for work use but are willing to purchase one for the city use. It would be used for things like before and after shots of City projects like roadway work, building additions, updating existing aerial photos that were flown years ago, and things like that. It seems like a great idea since you can basically get a Phantom, new gopro and all the other extra stuff you need for basic pictures and video for around $900, which is probably close to the price to have a company re-fly a few aerial shots. Were not trying to spy on anyone or do surveillance, just for more creative and informative pictures. Also it seems like it would be a good deal for the taxpayers of the city. It is amazing what the difference is from a ground shot picture to one that was taken from around 100' up.

    I would like anyone's thoughts or opinions on this or possibly where to look for any legalities that would involved, it seems like it is a huge grey area. I understand its illegal/frowned upon to use a "drone" for commercial use but I'm not sure if what we are looking to do is really considered commercial use or not. Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  2. BMEWS

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    Cambridgeshire UK
    I think you'll find that the same rules apply to your employer as they would anyone else. You're taking pictures/images perhaps for publication but not for commercial profit (if you sell them, then different rules may apply). As long as you fly sensibly, have the permission of the respective owners of the "projects" which by implication you would, then there really shouldn't be any problem.

    Obviously, your employer already has public liability insurance so you might need to confirm that it covers this activity. There are possibly rules about where you can fly in relation to distances from buildings and people. But IMHO, it's really no different.

    hope that helps

    Bmews
     
  3. OI Photography

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    It should be fine, but have your city counsel (not council) check to make sure Ohio doesn't have any laws restricting use by civil agencies, etc that might apply to you. Probably not, but worth a check first.
     
  4. tubino

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    Consider going through the COA process. Fred Judson is extremely helpful for Ohio residents. He is the GIS guy for ODOT but also the COA contact and a UAV enthusiast.
     
  5. dhuff44

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    Thanks everyone for your suggestions, I will defiantly try and contact Fred Judson, sounds like a very helpful person in this category.
     
  6. Ohary

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    Following along here. I have a small civil engineering business and am considering a similar setup to use on my projects. Don't see any issues other than liability for a crash. Google earth has some detailed images, and I don't hear complaints.