Geography alum builds business from Youtube inspiration

BOONE - Jordan Nelson graduated from Appalachian State University in December of 2012 with a degree in Geography and a GIS (Geographic Information Systems) certificate. Today he is an entrepreneur, creator and owner of Jordan Aerials.

Nelson Aerial Productions is an aerial photography and cinematography business that caters to various clients, ranging from golf courses and architects, to the documentation of natural disasters.

The idea for Nelson Aerial Productions came to Jordan while working for Appalachian post-graduation. "I began my aerial business in March of 2013 when drones were first becoming available to consumers. I purchased a drone after seeing a YouTube video where a guy showed a quadcopter as his favorite GoPro camera mount, and it really caught my attention. I believe subconsciously my experience with Geography and viewing the Earth from above, along with map making, played a role in my initial interest in the aerial industry," says Nelson.

Jordan and his business are inspired and shaped by his education at Appalachian. The support and care from professors left a lasting impression on him, and the beauty of the campus and surrounding area gave him a vision for exploring the area.

On which classes made the most impact on him, Nelson says, "Cartography with Dr. James Young and my Intro to Geography class with Jeff Colby. The attention to detail that Dr. Young instilled into my Cartography class has left a lasting impression on how I layout my videos in particular."

Though Nelson never expected to go into this business while at Appalachian, he stayed open to unique possibilities. His advice for future graduates: "Work hard for what you want to do in life but always keep your options open to other possible endeavors. Never ignore possible business opportunities if they become available, because owning a business, while consisting of a lot of hard work, is very rewarding and fun. I think the best piece of advice that I received was, 'Just do it and figure out how later.' If you're constantly trying to figure out if it's possible, or if you should do it, then it's already being done by someone else."

You can follow Nelson Aerial Productions on social media (FacebookInstagramTwitterVimeo) to see what projects they are currently working on or, or you can check their website

Published: Nov 30, 2015 2:50pm