Here's a piece at TPM about the use of drones within the US. I wonder how long it will be before FSA's aerial photography is done by drones? And disaster reporting? Fly a drone and provide a digital feed to a ground station to get good data on the extent of flooding, etc. Won't drones eventually be more economical than small planes or helicopters? If they can stay up for 36 hours they can presumably accomplish more photography than manned aircraft. And streaming the data back to the base station offers a lot of flexibility, particularly if you can feed it in as a layer to the GIS system.
I don't know: is FSA compliance still being done by aerial photography? Does ACRSI include spot checks?