I love flying my quad copter UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) to capture imagery or to create 3D models using Autodesk;s 123D Catch or Recap Photo. I have even flown them in Kenya experimenting on mapping fossils in remote Northern Turkana and next week on a remote Hawaiian island studying coral colony health. UAVs (please don't call them drones) have a wide variety of uses beyond just taking photos or video or just seeing things like a bird does as they can be used for disaster response, mapping, search and rescue, security, delivery, and many other uses. But unfortunately some are using them in irresponsible ways and ignoring safety, ethics and current regulations and as a result they are now being banned in many places. The problems have grown as the price of these quad rotor copters have dramatically come down to under a thousand dollars like the popular DJI Phantom series.
Multiple US National Parks are stating clearly they have banned the UAVs from the parks to protect environment, visitors, wildlife, and serenity of the parks. The most recent parks are Yosemite and Zion National Park. I read a report just yesterday of someone not using their brain and flying a quad copter chasing wild desert bighorn sheep in Zion National Park or buzzing park visitors that were trying to find some peace and quiet.
Some say there are not really any rules yet, but in fact there are. You cannot fly for commercial purposes, exceed 400 feet, fly over populated areas, operate in certain airport zones, or operate without line of site. Use your common sense and good judgment.
Please don't take your copters to the National parks or memorials, or call them drones. The term drone is used so broadly and negatively these days but encompasses all of the UAV flying cameras, copters, and many other terms.
If we all use commonsense UAVs will be a great thing for everyone, but if there are idiots doing stupid and unsafe things it will ruin it for all of us.