There will be a buzz in the air in Washington, D.C., this week. And the buzz could have a big impact on the surveying and geospatial professions.

AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems 2013 conference will take place Aug. 12-15 at the Walter E. Washington Conference Center. The event will highlight the unmanned AUVSI_inbodysystems and robotics industry with more than 100 panels and workshops, and more than 600 innovators will display their latest breakthroughs at exhibits on the show floor. Approximately 7,000 people from 40 countries are expected to attend the show.

While unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones, make headlines for their expanded use in defense and military operations, there are many other possible applications of the technology in both the civilian and commercial spheres. In fact, drones potentially could play a big role in the future of surveying.

But do the benefits outweigh the costs? What about privacy concerns? And how exactly will drones affect the surveying profession?

Those and many other questions figure to be addressed at the conference, which features exhibits, presentations and press conferences with leaders in defense, government and business.

For more information on drones, check out these recent articles on POB and GeoDataPoint.