Evaluating the Societal Impact of Using Drones to Support Urban Upgrading Projects

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
95 Downloads (Pure)


Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, have been gaining enormous popularity for many applications including informal settlement upgrading. Although UAVs can be used to efficiently collect highly detailed geospatial information, there are concerns regarding the ethical implications of its usage and the potential misuse of data. The aim of this study is therefore to evaluate the societal impacts of using UAVs for informal settlement mapping through two case studies in Eastern Africa. We discuss how the geospatial information they provide is beneficial from a technical perspective and analyze how the use of UAVs can be aligned with the values of: participation, empowerment, accountability, transparency, and equity. The local concept of privacy is investigated by asking citizens of the informal settlements to identify objects appearing in UAV images which they consider to be sensitive or private. As such, our research is an explicit example of how to increase citizen participation in the discussion of geospatial data security and privacy issues over urban areas and provides a framework of strategies illustrating how such issues can be addressed. View Full-Text
Original languageEnglish
Article number91
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalISPRS international journal of geo-information
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2018




Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluating the Societal Impact of Using Drones to Support Urban Upgrading Projects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this