In keeping with the aggressive use of technology in the vineyard, all information from surveys, soil sampling, and irrigation sensing is being put into a Geographic Information System (GIS). The GIS allows for the analysis of various data sets mapped over the topography of the vineyard.
For example, we contracted for soil sampling in the acres developed in 2001 and 2002 and received files of latitude/longitude location for each soil sample site and 42 sampled parameters. After loading into the GIS, this allows us to generate a map like this:
StoneTree Vineyard NH4 Profile
An extremely useful application of this GIS capability is to import satellite imagery from the Web and overlay photographs in various light spectra (such as near and far infrared) onto the GIS to show plant vigor. This can be done at various times during the season and is much more thorough than "walking the field," since no grower can walk all the rows of a 200-acre vineyard (approximately 200 miles) in 1 day, or even 1 week.