Just the word conjures up some powerful emotions. I’m not here today though to talk about the controversy surrounding their use (or abuse depending on your perspective.)
This was the first year civilian drone usage really went mainstream. It had some pretty stunning results.
Below are 10 drone videos that will give you a view of the world you’ve never seen before:
1) Postcards from Pripyat, Chernobyl
There was a buffalo wing joint in the town where I grew up who’s spiciest flavor was called “Chernobyl.” In any case, it just goes to show how the atrocities that happened at the nuclear plant in Chernobyl has entered into collective consciousness. This makes it difficult to remember that it’s a real place, where real people lost their lives. This eerie video starkly illustrates that reality.
2) Landslide in Northern Italy
Earlier this year, the flooding and landslides in Northern Italy made headlines around the world. Pictures from the ground don’t always give perspective on the destruction. In this video, there’s a “Looney Toons” sized boulder that comes just feet away from taking out a house.
3) Beijing by air
Youtube: Trey Ratcliff
Beijing is one of the most incredible cities I’ve ever been to. It’s scale alone is impressive, over 20 million people call it home. That coupled with a centuries old history, a world class food scene, and incredible architecture makes BJ one of my all time favorites. This video gives an insane view of some of the most well known sights like the forbidden city.
4) Hong Kong Protests
One of the things that was difficult about understanding the HK protests this year was their scale. For those unfamiliar with the city it was hard to get a sense of how massive they were. This drone video puts you right in the middle of them.
5) The icelandic wilds
Youtube: Fstoppers Fans
If you’re into incredible shots of Lord of the Ring’s-esque scenery, this vid of a drone flying over Iceland is just the thing for you.
6) Koh Yao Noi
Koh Yao Noi is one of the most beautiful islands in Thailand and it’s completely off the main tourist path.
7) Dubai from the sky (see what I did there?)
Youtube: Team BlackSheep
Dubai is best known for being a glittering, modern city that’s the playground of the rich and famous. I wish the video gave more context into the darker side of the city, but it is still a really cool picture of what the city looks like from above.
8) Tokyo: Ok Go
Youtube: Ok Go
This isn’t like any of the other videos on this list, but I couldn’t resist. Ok Go consistently makes some of the coolest videos I’ve ever seen. Most of this was shot by drones in an abandoned factory near Tokyo. If you’re not into the music, there’s some really cool shots of the surrounding countryside at the end.
9) Arctic Svalbard
If you’ve read “The Golden Compass” you know Svalbard as the home of the (totally awesome) armored bears. If you haven’t, stop reading this, turn off your computer, and go read it right now.
10) Utrecht, Netherlands
Utrecht is another of my favorite cities in the world. It is home to the largest church tower in The Netherlands and this video captures it on a particularly spectacular day. As it pierces through the clouds, I audibly gasped as I watched.
So drones. Not all gloom and doom! It’s heartening to see this technology being used to capture such incredible shots of the world we live in.