NYC Tech Events: Drone User Group Meetup on Governor's Island

— Load Impact is constantly on the hunt for the best meetups and conferences around New York City. In this new blog series, NYC Tech Events, we talk about some of the tech-focused events around the city that feature great speakers and promote the sharing of ideas from professionals and hobbyists of all skill levels.

Sometimes it’s nice to step away from the office, your computer and your development environment to get a little fresh air and enjoy humanity.

What better way to do that than to fly an awesome drone and take photos, video or collect mapping and weather info?

For drone enthusiasts in the New York/New Jersey area, the DUG Meetup Group is a great place to meet fellow hobbyists and professionals who are interested in these flying robots.

The group’s event Saturday on Governor’s Island is another awesome opportunity for drone hobbyists and pros to show their skills, meet people with similar interests and just have a fun time while enjoying the views of lower Manhattan.

The meetup’s sponsor, the Drone User Group Network, is a national organization that promotes safely and responsibly flying drones while furthering the technology for the benefit of humanity.

Steve Cohen, the president of the Drone User Group Network and the NYC/NJ chapter, referred to the group as a kind of “drone chamber of commerce” because of its promotion of educational opportunities and fairly wide reach.

“[The group] is diverse, and there are a lot of young, tech startup people who understand it’s an emerging market,” Steve said. “There are people on both sides — the hobby side and the commercial side.”

Don’t Fear These Drones

Like many other technological advances over the past century, the onset of drone culture came with major skepticism from mainstream media, politicians and law enforcement.

But Steve says the members of DUG look forward to opportunities like Saturday’s event because they can show off these majestic devices while adhering to local rules and FAA regulations.

“This meetup is a perfect example that we want to get positive media coverage,” Steve said. “People can see we’re doing it smart and we have a code of conduct.”

Never too Late to Jump on the Bandwagon

An accomplished commercial and artistic photographer for more than 30 years, Steve became interested in drones only a few years ago when he started to take advantage of their capabilities for scenic photos and video.

As he worked with drones more and more, Steve understood their massive potential. Before long, he was making what some people may have thought was an unorthodox professional transition.

“I’ve made a pivot in my career, and now I do more with drones than I do with photography,” Steve said. “Now, I’m more of a consultant and teacher — and sometimes pilot-operator.”

A Developer’s Dream

Like most developers, Load Impact is intrigued by the nearly limitless possibilities of drones.

Whether it’s for extensive 3D mapping, live event coverage, precise weather reports, etc., there’s no telling where these machines can take us over the next few months and following years.

Maybe part of our excitement is that no matter what information drones are collecting around the world, if there is a big audience that wants to access it, developers will need to load test their public-facing software and APIs — and we’re always up for that.

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