Belinda Betancourt Dow owns a drone mapping services company
Tell us about yourself and your background
My name is Belinda Betancourt Dow and I own Dow GeoSpatial an aerial photogrammetry mapping services company. My background is in engineering technology and Geographical Information Technology.
How did you get started in the drone industry?
I had heard about drones and how they collected imagery and I got curious and researched what I could. I then attended a drone meetup here in Austin and it so happens the first one I attended I met a pilot that needed GIS work done for his flight planning. That was almost 2 years ago now. Since then I have worked with pilots to create client deliverables in the construction and new development industries.
Tell us about your organization and your role there
Dow GeoSpatial provides a total mapping solution for your project. From Flying, Software Integration, Presentation, and even project archival data. I run all aspects of the company right now, anything from marketing to mapping and more. I am a one woman show, looking to expand soon.
What do you like most about being in the UAV industry?
I am a techie, so I am just so amazed about how the uses for drones keep growing, I do mapping, but there are awesome things going on, the latest I think was a couple of kids being saved from drowning. How wonderful is that. So, I personally like to hear what’s going on in mapping, with sensors, cameras, geolocation, better for accuracy and what is going on with photogrammetry software to get those accuracies out to clients for proper surface measurement. I’m always amazed!
What’s your favorite type of project and why?
So far. land development, and I think it’s because I like to go out in the field with my surveyor. I think it’s because we enjoy going over berms and teasing cattle. 😊 in truth, it is being able to offer the client a total birds eye view of their land and what potential it has. Providing a service in capturing new data and integrating that into other platforms is great. Capturing data and processing and having a package with an orthomosaic and topography and elevation models of their property in an awesome presentational map of that data is always fulfilling to show the client once we are done. It is a full preliminary surface report of their land for development or sale.
Do you have a success story you would like to share?
I guess you can say I am a success story, I am first generation to graduate college and the first in my family to start a drone mapping business 😊. No, just being able to communicate in what I do to others is success. It’s nice to motivate other people to do and think out of the box.
What excites you most about the potential for women in the industry?
I think it’s wonderful for women to be in this industry, or any other technological industries out there. Women need to be recognized for their accomplishments and their goals. We need to lead and have opportunities to present our findings and our ideas as well. I think it’s wonderful.
What’s your current favorite drone to fly?
I currently do not fly drones, I am now in the process of studying for my 107 and of course I will need lots of practice. I wanted to concentrate on the mapping aspect of the industry, I now realize you need to be well versed in all aspects.
What You’ve Learned:
What has been your most significant “lightbulb” moment since you entered the industry?
I think like I had mentioned before, being well versed in all aspects of the drone business. I had pilots for teaming opportunities, that have now gone on their own. So, in being able to do it myself I would be able to grow my company at a greater rate. I wanted to concentrate on one aspect, I believe it is a science in itself and I wanted to dedicate that into my mapping to give the client an overall better product, things have definitely changed. It is time for this one woman show to become a chief pilot.
What have you learned you wish you had known when you got started?
To be persistent on reaching out to pilots for aerials that I could practice my photogrammetry skills on, to incorporate those into experience and resume/portfolio material.
Is there a tip you learned you would like to share with other women in the industry?
It’s just to reach out to past clients you have worked with for a follow up. It is definitely a way to know in what you can improve on and it will benefit you as professional and your business growth.
What’s the best way for W&D readers to connect with you?
The Final Word:
Is there anything else you would like to share with the women and drone’s community?
Just that I am continuing to grow my business and provide mapping services to pilots (teaming opportunities) and companies in the (AEC) Architectural, Engineering and Construction industry and hopefully maybe teach a basic drone mapping (photogrammetry) class in the near future. I am also in the process of creating a (DDMI) Drone Data Management Interface for my clients to upload their data and have me process it in near real time for client deliverables. I will share more on that later when the project is almost complete.