Photos From Nepal: Drones and Image-Mapping for Next-Generation Disaster Response

The latest in the Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series, in which Kike profiles interesting information, research and thoughts on using drones, UAVs and remotely piloted vehicles for journalism and photography.

Arriving in Nepal for the third time makes me think about how unpredictable life can be. During my last expedition, I was documenting the beauty of traditional Nepali architecture in locations such as Durbar Square, capturing the richness of the traditional clothing and visually exploring the small, picturesque mountain town of Bandipur. My article “Asia: 10 lessons learned with the heart of a photographer” was a result of this trip.

Since then, a major earthquake shocked the city of Kathmandu, turning some of those iconic places I captured with my camera into rubble. My mind wonders about the current situation of the sites, while I type these lines late at night aboard the National Geographic Explorer.

District of Panga on September 22, 2015. Photo © KIKE CALVO

After a long flight with a stopover in Abu Dhabi, I land in the capitol late at night. Once in the hotel, I bump into one of my team members at Pix4D, Krista Montgomery (public relations manager). Our teamwork, along with DJI’s, will support Patrick Meier and his efforts to create a drone lab at Kathmandu University. After a long chat with Krista about expectations and ideas, I see the some of the DJI team arrive. The film crew, along with the photography director Paul Moore, are all there. After the official introductions, I head to my room to catch some rest and write up some ideas in a notebook. The concept of mapping using drones has fascinated me since I became aware of it. For the last few months, I have been working on my new —> Read More