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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014

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This guy flew this drone over Downtown Milwaukee.
This guy flew this drone over Downtown Milwaukee.

Milwaukee by drone

I always suggest that people take time to look up when they are walking around Downtown.  The architecture and views are stunning.

However, we don't often get the opportunity to look down upon our city.  This is, of course, because you either have to be flying over the area or perched in a high rise with great windows.  Drones, then, help us see what we can often miss.

Thanks to former OnMilwaukee.com sales guy John Hyland for passing along this video.  




It's a cool fly over video of Downtown, the St. Francis Seminary, area lakes and other parts of the city.  It was created by Darrell Boeck from Creative Images.  Boeck tells me "it was all filmed with a drone which is about 2.5 pounds.  A few years ago, Boeck "was considering spending about $20,000 for a drone that could capture amazing images.  

He waited, though, about a year and "the price came down so far, the shots in that video were filmed with one that cost about $1,500 including the GoPro camera."  

"You really do not need to become a drone pilot to fly it," says Boeck.  It flies itself with an auto-pilot.  "You simply tell the autopilot what to do.  For example, it is GPS enabled, so it will hold its position in the sky, without any help from the pilot.  If the wind starts to blow it away, it will automatically lean into the wind to keep its position.  I then simply tell it to go up or down, left or right, forward or back.  In the event of an emergency, such as losing signal from my remote control, it will automatically fly back and land where it took off."
 
The drone has a camera stabilizer called a "gimbal" which holds the camera steady and level, "even when the drone is bouncing around or rocking back and forth," said Boeck.  "It is also equipped with a video transmitter, transmitting the video back to earth, so I can view what is filming.  I use it both indoors and out.  Just last week, I was filming in a factory."
 
It's safe, too. "Mine is very safe with plastic props (some are more dangerous with carbon fiber props).  Yet, just like a real helicopter, things can go wrong and when that happens, they fly like a baseball.  So I’m careful to not fly over large groups of people, traffic, etc., " added Boeck.

Boeck was kind enough to offer me a chance to fly the drone. So, once I do, look out and watch for another blog.  Until then, always remember to look up and look down!  

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