Mark Pires, a real estate agent with the New Canaan office of Coldwell Banker uses a small helicopter unmanned aerial system to capture aspects of a property that cannot be seen from the ground.The idea is to sell more by offering the added information.
The FAA currently prohibits commercial operations of unmanned aircraft, even if they are kept uner the 400 ft ceiling. But, of course that agency doesn't have the manpower to go after every user like Pires, even when the government is not in "shutdown." Pires himself doesn't feel that his use is commerical; he does not charge for the images, just uses them to sell something else: property.
Another vendor, Halstead Property, uses an insured contract vendor who uses UAVs to capture images of private property. To date, even the local police are satified there's nothing out of line in that sort of use.
For now these users are differentiating themselves with the latest technology, just like some did with "talking houses" some ten years ago. I recall writing about those back in my GIS Monitor days.
- Norwalk Citizen ONline via @mappsorg