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North Carolina bans aerial mapping without a surveying license

Dalton916

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I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see SC follow NC’s lead on this.
 
Not a constitutional issue if you’re surveying without a license. You can’t practice medicine without a license, you can’t practice law without a license, you can’t practice engineering without a license…….theres a lot of them. They’re all regulated to protect the public as they all provide a service to the public.
 
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I agree. I am a CPA and I had to work hard to earn the rights to attest to financial statements. The Constitution is not the issue here - it is a non-qualified and non-credentialed individual trying to do things that are not legal.
 
I agree 95% of what this organization stands for. I will never support any government effort to use regulations to stand in the way of freedom and capitalism and a free market by disguising it as public safety or national security.


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I've talked with Michael about this. We as an industry need to get behind him. They are appealing this again, so hopefully this will still be overturned. I'm not sure why they chose the first amendment argument, but hopefully I'll know more soon.
 
It only applies to land boundaries and property location.

My conversation with NC Board of Engineers:

What is the definition of surveying? We handle insurance claims on a large scale and often use drones to produce models and “maps” of the loss site. We have an accident reconstruction group for auto claims that uses drones for their loss investigation's, creating models and maps of the accident site. Our Enviromental group uses drones on Phase 1s and other environmental inspections looking for hazards. We do inspections of large agricultural sites looking for leaking fertilizer for example. Our energy group uses mapping to inspect solar farms and other such sites.

None of these “maps” are used to determine property boundaries or other real property or real estate legal lines.
Do these activities constitute “surveying” as covered in the recently publicized court case?

Thank you for your assistance.

Reply:

David,

The definition of the practice of surveying in North Carolina is set out in state law at N.C. Gen. Stat. § 89C-3(7). See the attached. I have highlighted the relevant portions.

The examples you provided do not fall within the definition of surveying.

—Wes



S. Wesley Tripp III
Board Counsel
North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors
[email protected]
Office: (919) 791-2000 Ext. 111
Mobile: (919) 906-9518

Practice of land surveying. –

a. Providing professional services such as consultation, investigation,
testimony, evaluation, planning, mapping, assembling, and interpreting reliable scientific measurements and information relative to the location, size, shape, or physical features of the earth, improvements on the earth, the space above the earth, or any part of the earth, whether the gathering of information for the providing of these services is accomplished by conventional ground measurements, by aerial photography, by global positioning via satellites, or by a combination of any of these methods, and the utilization and development of these facts and interpretations into an orderly survey map, plan, report, description, or project. The practice of land surveying includes the following:

Locating, relocating, establishing, laying out, or retracing any property line, easement, or boundary of any tract of land;

Locating, relocating, establishing, or laying out the alignment or elevation of any of the fixed works embraced within the practice of professional engineering;

Making any survey for the subdivision of any tract of land,

including the topography, alignment and grades of streets and incidental drainage within the subdivision, and the preparation and perpetuation of maps, record plats, field note records, and property descriptions that represent these surveys;

Determining, by the use of the principles of land surveying, the position for any survey monument or reference point, or setting, resetting, or replacing any survey monument or reference point;

Determining the configuration or contour of the earth's surface or the position of fixed objects on the earth's surface by measuring lines and angles and applying the principles of mathematics or photogrammetry;

Providing geodetic surveying which includes surveying for

determination of the size and shape of the earth both horizontally and vertically and the precise positioning of points on the earth utilizing angular and linear measurements through spatially oriented spherical geometry; and

Creating, preparing, or modifying electronic or computerized data, including land information systems and geographic information systems relative to the performance of the practice of land surveying.
 
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^None of that matters. If you do something the government doesn't like, they'll send you a cease and desist letter and put an end to it. When the word gets out, others in the state who think about doing anything similar will think twice before getting involved. Has little to do with actual "surveying" and everything to do with performing an activity which the government decides you need their permission (license/permit) to do using a drone. The government licenses hundreds if not thousands of activities and having a part 107 from the federal government is not enough when the states says so.

For example, you may need a real estate license and if the state decides you need a real estate license to take photos of a property that will be used for the purposes of real estate, you either get a real estate license or you go to court. That's a problem as well as when the government decides they don't want drones to be used to take photos for real estate purposes (to protect whomever) then either the drone adder to a real estate license is $1000 or they decide you can't add it until you've had your license for 5 years or they just simply decide to stop handing out drone adders indefinitely until they revisit the topic in 2027. You can do this for anything commercially drone related whether it's delivering certain goods by drone, search and rescue, inspections, even wildlife photography.
 
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Hang on people, here is the newest and I have dealt with it this year. AAM network and fees. The FAA opened the door for state registration of drones in 2023 and long as the fee is not applied to air safety. So, to build out delivery and AAM infrastructure, states can require state level registration for drones flown in the state not just residing. So, traveling from MN to FL and flying along the way...up to 8 state registrations.

MN, WA have had it for a while and Utah is implementing theirs now. In 2-3 years, I bet every state will have a registration requirement. MN is $25 annually and you have to show that sales tax was paid, or they will charge you MN sales tax on the value.
 
Hang on people, here is the newest and I have dealt with it this year. AAM network and fees. The FAA opened the door for state registration of drones in 2023 and long as the fee is not applied to air safety. So, to build out delivery and AAM infrastructure, states can require state level registration for drones flown in the state not just residing. So, traveling from MN to FL and flying along the way...up to 8 state registrations.

MN, WA have had it for a while and Utah is implementing theirs now. In 2-3 years, I bet every state will have a registration requirement. MN is $25 annually and you have to show that sales tax was paid, or they will charge you MN sales tax on the value.
Like I said, if you engage in commercial activity then you are subject to the state government (and possibly state law) when you engage in business in that state and if we don't do something about this laws, you are correct, this could be thing and could easily get out of control. So I tend to agree with how you describe this. But as far as I know, no state requires registration and/or fees for the recreational use of drones and I would surmise that doing so would not be supported by the FAA or any laws.
 
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Like I said, if you engage in commercial activity then you are subject to the state government (and possibly state law) when you engage in business in that state and if we don't do something about this laws, you are correct, this could be thing and could easily get out of control. So I tend to agree with how you describe this. But as far as I know, no state requires registration and/or fees for the recreational use of drones, and I would surmise that doing so would not be supported by the FAA or any laws.
Correct it is commercial use for now.....we actually have to have an Aerial Photography business license in MN.
 
Correct it is commercial use for now.....we actually have to have an Aerial Photography business license in MN.
So one day Jesse Ventura can decide if you take more than 20 hi-resolution photos per week or if you post your fun videos on YT or if your drone has a Minnesota class 3 camera then you no longer qualify to use your drone under state law in the recreational capacity? And you would need a MN business license even if you didn't need part 107? :)

This is what I am afraid will happen one day in any one of thousands of places across the country because well....drones are just hated. FAA needs to reign in such infringement. I'm not ringing the alarm bells (just yet) but this "attack" on drones has just started.
 
It only applies to land boundaries and property location.

My conversation with NC Board of Engineers:

What is the definition of surveying? We handle insurance claims on a large scale and often use drones to produce models and “maps” of the loss site. We have an accident reconstruction group for auto claims that uses drones for their loss investigation's, creating models and maps of the accident site. Our Enviromental group uses drones on Phase 1s and other environmental inspections looking for hazards. We do inspections of large agricultural sites looking for leaking fertilizer for example. Our energy group uses mapping to inspect solar farms and other such sites.

None of these “maps” are used to determine property boundaries or other real property or real estate legal lines.
Do these activities constitute “surveying” as covered in the recently publicized court case?

Thank you for your assistance.

Reply:

David,

The definition of the practice of surveying in North Carolina is set out in state law at N.C. Gen. Stat. § 89C-3(7). See the attached. I have highlighted the relevant portions.

The examples you provided do not fall within the definition of surveying.

—Wes



S. Wesley Tripp III
Board Counsel
North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors
[email protected]
Office: (919) 791-2000 Ext. 111
Mobile: (919) 906-9518

Practice of land surveying. –

a. Providing professional services such as consultation, investigation,
testimony, evaluation, planning, mapping, assembling, and interpreting reliable scientific measurements and information relative to the location, size, shape, or physical features of the earth, improvements on the earth, the space above the earth, or any part of the earth, whether the gathering of information for the providing of these services is accomplished by conventional ground measurements, by aerial photography, by global positioning via satellites, or by a combination of any of these methods, and the utilization and development of these facts and interpretations into an orderly survey map, plan, report, description, or project. The practice of land surveying includes the following:

Locating, relocating, establishing, laying out, or retracing any property line, easement, or boundary of any tract of land;

Locating, relocating, establishing, or laying out the alignment or elevation of any of the fixed works embraced within the practice of professional engineering;

Making any survey for the subdivision of any tract of land,

including the topography, alignment and grades of streets and incidental drainage within the subdivision, and the preparation and perpetuation of maps, record plats, field note records, and property descriptions that represent these surveys;

Determining, by the use of the principles of land surveying, the position for any survey monument or reference point, or setting, resetting, or replacing any survey monument or reference point;

Determining the configuration or contour of the earth's surface or the position of fixed objects on the earth's surface by measuring lines and angles and applying the principles of mathematics or photogrammetry;

Providing geodetic surveying which includes surveying for

determination of the size and shape of the earth both horizontally and vertically and the precise positioning of points on the earth utilizing angular and linear measurements through spatially oriented spherical geometry; and

Creating, preparing, or modifying electronic or computerized data, including land information systems and geographic information systems relative to the performance of the practice of land surveying.
Correct. He knew what he was doing was wrong, but he didn’t take the initiative you did and ask. Probably because he read so much nonsense as shows up on the internet not to mention others doing the same. Didn’t bother to do his due diligence and now is paying a Licensed Attorney to fight his fight for him because, well……

I noticed none of the illegal services previously on his website are no longer there.
 
Not a constitutional issue if you’re surveying without a license. You can’t practice medicine without a license, you can’t practice law without a license, you can’t practice engineering without a license…….theres a lot of them. They’re all regulated to protect the public as they all provide a service to the public.
Not a constitutional issue if you’re surveying without a license. You can’t practice medicine without a license, you can’t practice law without a license, you can’t practice engineering without a license…….theres a lot of them. They’re all regulated to protect the public as they all provide a service to the public.
I agree
 
I agree 95% of what this organization stands for. I will never support any government effort to use regulations to stand in the way of freedom and capitalism and a free market by disguising it as public safety or national security.


To view this content we will need your consent to set third party cookies.
For more detailed information, see our cookies page.
I understand, but that would cause a lot of chaos and court issues
 
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I understand, but that would cause a lot of chaos and court issues
You mean like the chaos that is created by Uber/Lyft by allowing ordinary people to use their POVs to transport other people without having a taxi permit or a CDL and special government insurance? See what happens to the industry when the government interferes? Decades and decades of nothing but overpriced $200 cab rides that are late, never on time to get you there, only pickup certain people in certain neighbors and only go some places, cash only (for some), junk unsafe vehicles driven by who knows dishonest drivers, and all kinds of archaic rules and customs no different that cabs in the Philippines or Thailand or Tunisia or Morocco. Then capitalism stepped in....yeah it finally took some bold moves by the courts.
 
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For example, you may need a real estate license and if the state decides you need a real estate license to take photos of a property that will be used for the purposes of real estate, you either get a real estate license or you go to court.

An imagined scenario. Or is there a state that is considering such a rule?

That's a problem as well as when the government decides they don't want drones to be used to take photos for real estate purposes (to protect whomever) then either the drone adder to a real estate license is $1000 or they decide you can't add it until you've had your license for 5 years or they just simply decide to stop handing out drone adders indefinitely until they revisit the topic in 2027.

A four-stage imagined scenario. Has any state suggested such a measure penalizing the use of drones for photographs? Are there examples of the adder/delayed adder/unavailable adder situation you describe with any other commercial activity?

The reality of the situation in North Carolina is concerning. The discussion would be more productive if we focus on actual or actually proposed laws, rules, licenses, and fees rather than imagined horrors.
 
An imagined scenario. Or is there a state that is considering such a rule?



A four-stage imagined scenario. Has any state suggested such a measure penalizing the use of drones for photographs? Are there examples of the adder/delayed adder/unavailable adder situation you describe with any other commercial activity?

The reality of the situation in North Carolina is concerning. The discussion would be more productive if we focus on actual or actually proposed laws, rules, licenses, and fees rather than imagined horrors.
I really wish I could just focus on the task at hand but that would be rather short-sighted. We need more than just a "win" in North Carolina, we need rulings that will manage the imaginations that state legislatures and local governments are bound to show whether they have come to fruition now or not yet. It's not my imagination you need to worry about, the state of NY and states like FL, CA, and TX has much bigger "imaginations" than myself. Trust me, you don't want to get caught in the federal circuit ruling game.

Coupled with state's lack of understanding of the definition of freedom and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know the hobby is vulnerable when these wild scenarios start popping up all over the place which is likely why we were blinded by the proposed DJI ban. Nobody wanted to listen to my "imagination" about the hobby being under attack and it sounds like you still don't want to. Look, we just can't stand around waiting to defend against the next assault or how no one has an "imagination", it's time to get ahead of this. The community is left flat footed and it takes years to recover and repair the damage caused by the meddling. We have big big privacy battles brewing, ok forget about the commercial licensing for now, if the part 107 think it's no big deal, you should wait to see what the government tells you have to permit for, and you're going to leave that door wide open cause you don't think the bogey man will come thru it....fine. Lessons learned. FAA is asleep and privacy rights are going to ground this hobby, not the DJI battle or commercial situation.

I didn't mean to distract, I just wanted to respond to those who express their opinion that it's ok for the government to decide what you need a permit to do something with your drone. I get it, a bunch of real estate part 107 flyers are probably frustrated with rogue drones so yeah, you probably look forward to the day a real estate license is required; that was just an example. It's only natural for the "professionals" to want to keep others out which is fine but let's not try to use the government for that.
 
I really wish I could just focus on the task at hand but that would be rather short-sighted. We need more than just a "win" in North Carolina, we need rulings that will manage the imaginations that state legislatures and local governments are bound to show whether they have come to fruition now or not yet. It's not my imagination you need to worry about, the state of NY and states like FL, CA, and TX has much bigger "imaginations" than myself. Trust me, you don't want to get caught in the federal circuit ruling game.

Coupled with state's lack of understanding of the definition of freedom and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know the hobby is vulnerable when these wild scenarios start popping up all over the place which is likely why we were blinded by the proposed DJI ban. Nobody wanted to listen to my "imagination" about the hobby being under attack and it sounds like you still don't want to. Look, we just can't stand around waiting to defend against the next assault or how no one has an "imagination", it's time to get ahead of this. The community is left flat footed and it takes years to recover and repair the damage caused by the meddling. We have big big privacy battles brewing, ok forget about the commercial licensing for now, if the part 107 think it's no big deal, you should wait to see what the government tells you have to permit for, and you're going to leave that door wide open cause you don't think the bogey man will come thru it....fine. Lessons learned. FAA is asleep and privacy rights are going to ground this hobby, not the DJI battle or commercial situation.

I didn't mean to distract, I just wanted to respond to those who express their opinion that it's ok for the government to decide what you need a permit to do something with your drone. I get it, a bunch of real estate part 107 flyers are probably frustrated with rogue drones so yeah, you probably look forward to the day a real estate license is required; that was just an example. It's only natural for the "professionals" to want to keep others out which is fine but let's not try to use the government for that.

And now you're imagining my thoughts and intentions.

By the way, our federal government, state, and local governments have a long and extensive history of telling us what we need permits and licenses to do, from providing manicures and accounting services to owning dogs to fishing to driving a car to performing surgery to drawing tattoos on people to drilling a water well to operating a hazardous waste disposal facility. We've been using government to do that since the early days of this nation.
 
The government licenses hundreds if not thousands of activities

For example, you may need a real estate license .....
By the way, our federal government, state, and local governments have a long and extensive history of telling us what we need permits and licenses to do.....

Thanks for making my point. I guess you realize that needing a permit to take drone photos for real estate isn't so far fetched and is within the realm of possibility.

An imagined scenario. Or is there a state that is considering such a rule?

You forget to mention one, it's called a part 107 license required to perform commercial work with your drone. My point is, that's all you need; anything else required by the government is interference (for the most part, there could be exceptions). Just like, all you need is a drivers license, you don't need anything else (additional permission) to drive your car to home depot and fetch supplies or take your kids to school. You don't need a pharmacist license to drive your car to walgreens to get your OTC medicine. It's called overreach.
 
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