The Efficient Vineyard project uses mobile sensors to collect high density spatial data on soil, canopy, and crop characteristics. A big question for the end user is, “I am not a computer engineer. What do I do with all these data layers?” As it turns out, there are certain data processing and spatial statistics methods that help the research team make the most of the spatial data. Our Spatial Data Tech group, led by Dr. James Taylor, aims to develop tools that make the sensor data and spatial information accessible to the end user for vineyard management. The Efficient Vineyard project is designed to help commercial vineyard blocks move from uniform management to site-specific management. The Spatial Data Tech Group is laying the foundation for a Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS) intended to help vineyard managers use spatial data collected in their vineyards to guide management decisions. High volumes of spatial data pertaining to soil, canopy and crop are of little use if they cannot be processed and interpreted in a way that makes site-specific vineyard management widely accessible.
The Spatial Data Tech Group plans to build tools capable of semi-automated spatial data processing, data fusion, and the production of informative maps that will integrate with management strategies and Variable Rate Technology in commercial vineyards. To establish the needs of end-users, for whom these tools will be designed, the Spatial Data Tech Group has disseminated a survey to the Efficient Vineyard Project Industry Advisory group. This survey will help define the scope of application, determine the range and format of inputs and outputs, and direct the functionality of the SDSS. The Spatial Data Tech Group will continue to collaborate with the Industry Advisory Group through additional surveys, interviews, and the release of a preliminary version of the application for beta-testing.
By Jackie Dresser, Ph.D. Candidate