GIS Mapping for Co-operatives
GIS can be an extremely helpful management tool in a co-operative environment. Currently it is mostly utilised by wine cellars, but can be applied to almost any co-operative agricultural environment. It allows for management and wine makers alike, to see at a single glance information regarding the distribution of the vineyards of their producers/members.
Linking the GIS to cellar management programs such as WineMS or EasyWine, and managed in the correct manner, can allow the grapes used for any specific bottle of wine, to be traced back to exactly the vineyard/s it originates from. The power of GIS can be utilised in this manner to maintain and improve the quality of any specific wine, harvest after harvest, year after year.
How is this done?
Aerial imagery is used as basis in establishing a GIS in a co-operative environment. This has proved to be by far the most cost-effective way. Aerial imagery is obtained from any single one, or a variety of sources. Data about the farm boundaries of members are listed, compiled in GIS format, and then presented for quality control. Once finalised, the block boundaries of each individual producer are mapped from the aerial imagery. Only where blocks has changed since the date of the aerial imagery, are the more costly process followed of GPS surveying in the field.
The result is a GIS system implemented at the co-operative, including at least aerial imagery, farm boundaries and block boundaries of all the producers/members of the co-operative.
Open source GIS software is freely available, and do not need to be a further expenditure to the client.