The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) confirms closure by end of 2020.



Resources related to drones, aerial mapping and UAVs

UAV4Ag community

Members of this community share their experiences in developing UAV technologies and related software applications. More importantly they share information on how to make use of small UAVs to improve the management of crops, fishing grounds and other resource-based activities. Relevant events, capacity building opportunities and publications are signalled as soon as these are known by members of the community.

Drones and aerial observation

This book with the full title “Drones and Aerial Observation: New Technologies for Property Rights, Human Rights, and Global Development. A Primer” is a comprehensive introduction to civilian UAV technology, focusing on how these devices can be used to secure property rights, document environmental destruction, and gather post-disaster data. The free-to-download primer covers many basic aspects of UAV technology, such as the regulatory environment surrounding their use, nuts-and-bolts aspects of mapmaking and photography with UAVs.

Drone2Map for ArcGIS

“Manual on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems”

This document of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) shows how the existing regulatory framework that was developed for manned aviation applies to unmanned aircraft. It gives insight into the changes that will be coming for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS). It also gives an outline of ICAO’s Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and guidance material, so helping other standardisation organisations to harmonise their activities.

News about UAVs

With UAV technology being adopted for civilian research and surveys around the world, specific news websites are popping up to keep a track on legislation and product developments. For example, sUAS News ( is an online news provider for small Unmanned Aerial Systems. Another news website called DroneLife ( has a special section focusing on agricultural UAV developments.

Flight Riot

This website is devoted to free and open-source drone technology, including building instructions, navigation software, mapping and photogrammetry software, and more.

RPAS regulations

This website has been designed to create a single point of reference where international Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)-related regulatory information, as well as aviation terminology and recommended RPAS terminology are made available. The website offers free access to a large online library of relevant reference and guidance documents, and information that promotes awareness of country by country RPAS-related regulatory developments.

Civil drones educational video

This is a video animation made for the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) introducing the concept of operations in relation to the use of civil drones. It shows the do’s and don’ts of civilian use of this technology. EASA is working in providing a new set of rules for operating civil drones.


Understanding the legal environment

Funded by the European Commission, the project aims at building a comprehensive and high quality online presence with the purpose of increasing awareness and facilitating understanding of the legal environment and constraints in relation with light UAV operations with a focus on non-commercial operators. It also sheds light on the opportunities for economic and job market growth that UAVs represent for entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises. The portal is due to be launched in June 2016.

Humanitarian UAV network

The goal of this network is to promote the safe, coordinated and effective use of UAVs for data collection, payload delivery and communication services in a wide range of humanitarian and development settings. The network is actively developing international guidelines for the responsible use of UAVs and maintaining a wiki to document lessons learned, best practices and existing regulations in countries around the world.

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On the Pacific islands of Samoa drone technology is used in a coconut tree survey to forecast more accurately yield and production of virgin coconut oil.

Authorities demand regulation for and supervision of the increasing use of drones, because of privacy, safety and security issues. Drone operators must be aware of this.

The International Water Management Institute in Sri Lanka has begun to experiment with drone technology to support a wide range of studies like crop monitoring, disaster mitigation and disease prevention.


Traditionally all features on a map were represented in the form of symbols whose spatial characteristics, like location, size and shape, could be mathematically defined in a spatial reference system. The underlying spatial information of features depicted in this way is referred to as vector data.

On the Pacific islands of Samoa drone technology is used in a coconut tree survey to forecast more accurately yield and production of virgin coconut oil.

Past issues

ICT Update N. 91

Next-generation ACP agriculture - innovations that work

ICT Update N. 90

Women and Digitalisation in Agriculture

ICT Update N. 89

Data4Ag: New opportunities for organised smallholder farmers

ICT Update N. 88

Unlocking the potential of blockchain for agriculture

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