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Coverage of ways unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are changing how state and local government collects data on physical infrastructure, maps jurisdictions via GIS and monitors public safety from the sky. Also includes stories about efforts by private-sector companies and education institutions to improve how drones can better help government deliver services.

The historically Black university is working with AeroX and Piedmont Flight Training so students in the Mecklenburg County area can complete a four-year degree in aviation science and unmanned aircraft systems online.
Kern County Fire Chief Aaron Duncan demonstrated the department's new technology during a press conference attended by representatives of various county agencies and local hospitals, which also provided safety tips.
California State University's annual five-day workshop trained more than 70 students, professors and industry professionals in safety, data management and real-life applications of the technology.
The university’s new course, with scholarships from Draganfly, offers an introduction to unmanned aerial vehicles, regulations, operation and navigation, and a chance to earn a remote pilot certification.
The unincorporated community of Lockeford, Calif., is slated to be Amazon’s first attempt at making Prime Air a reality. The company will be working to get the program operational later this summer, officials say.
The debate over a plan to buy a drone for the Worcester Police Department has come to an end with a 7 to 3 City Council vote in favor of the purchase. Opponents voiced concern about potential civil liberty implications.
After a $5 million grant from the Department of Commerce, the Yurok Tribe plans on getting a customized fixed-wing aircraft that will provide mapping and data collection for their lands to aid in habitat restoration.
Acting City Manager Eric Batista said he would not move forward with plans to buy a drone for the Worcester Police Department if the proposal was not approved by residents and the City Council.
Residents of San Joaquin County farming towns will be able to order "thousands of everyday items" online and can expect a drone to drop them in their backyards in less than an hour, said an Amazon spokesperson.
San Diego's Shield AI, a startup that makes artificial intelligence software to power military drones and other aircraft, has raised $90 million in venture capital and $75 million in debt in a new funding round.