DJI Looks to Increase Safety by Updating GEO System for Drone Photography and Videography

DJI Looks to Increase Safety by Updating GEO System for Drone Photography and Videography

The DJI Geospatial Environment Online (GEO) is the company's built-in system for helping drone operators abide by airspace rules and regulations. Today, DJI has released a major update for the system that should go a long way in augmenting responsible flying and preventing incidents.

Today's update introduces more intricate restrictions by including permanent no-fly zones around areas such as prisons and nuclear power plants, but the big step forward is the launch of temporary flight restrictions (TFR). The FAA issues TFRs for any number of reasons ranging from hazardous conditions to sporting events or the arrival of dignitaries. This allows DJI to dynamically update no-fly zones in real-time in tandem with the FAA, thereby putting the end-user in better coordination with those who oversee airspace. 

An example of the three GEO zones (Burke Lakefront Airport).

Red zones are fully restricted zones and cannot be bypassed (flight will be prevented) without emailing DJI directly. Yellow zones are known as "authorization zones" and can be flown in after the user verifies their DJI account in the app with a phone number or credit card. Lastly, green zones are "warning zones," which may or may not appear on the map and generally contain some sort of advisory message for the user. The GEO system is available on all late-model DJI Inspire and Phantom drones by updating the DJI GO app and firmware for the controller and aircraft. Currently, it covers the majority of North America and western Europe, with plans to expand coverage.

I just received an email from the FAA the other day admonishing drone pilots not to fly near wildfires, so the ability to dynamically update TFR zones for such instances could be a great boon to both operators and regulators. Nonetheless, DJI emphasizes that the system is advisory and does not replace official aeronautical sources (for example, heliports are not necessarily included). To learn more about the system, check out the full documentation here.

What are your thoughts? Will this help to increase safe flying? Let us know in the comments! 

[via UAVUS]

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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....needed because common sense doesn't seem to be enough.

Spent the best part of an hour trying to follow their instructions...I got to 'Pick a Pin' and there were no Red Pins close to me...thus I could not get approval...instructions stink...My drone is now grounded