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In Northern California, a surveying and mapping firm serves the needs of the local vineyards!

Date Added: November 10, 2008 07:13:41 AM
Author: Deepti
Category: Blogs
Resting within the 1,050,000 acres of Northern California’s Sonoma County are 58,665 acres of vineyard lands, home to 191 wineries and more than 1,100 grape growers. One of these passionate grape growers is Ray Carlson, PLS, president and founder of Ray Carlson & Associates Inc. of Santa Rosa, Calif. With his unique background as both a surveyor and grape grower, Carlson understands and provides for the needs of his region’s niche industry. † “Sonoma County is wine country,” Carlson says, adding that his firm’s main clients are rural property owners. He and his team offer this distinctive clientele of vineyard owners a combination of superior positioning services and deliverables that can be used to market their lands and products. Carlson’s staff currently includes three licensed surveyors, three Lists, two title researchers, three GIS professionals, two CAD drafters, for more detail visit two field crewmembers, one financial officer and one administrator. Carlson says he “realized that GPS and GIS go together” when the technologies began to emerge. He’s used that mindset to stay at the forefront of the surveying profession and to successfully market his firm’s services to his local clients. † “We get a lot of questions from grape growers about what appellation they’re in,” Moody says, “especially when someone goes to make a bottle of wine and they’re not sure.” Ray Carlson & Associates can provide this information to clients because it has accurately mapped all the TTB-authorized appellations in its region. This information also plays a role in property sales and values. “If someone’s deciding where to buy [land], they may think, ‘If I can grow or buy in this region, it will be more profitable for me,’” Moody says. In addition, new appellations are regularly created; Ray Carlson & Associates is involved in mapping and documenting these new specialized regions. † Ray Carlson & Associates has carved a niche in the surveying and mapping profession while serving its community. Carlson & Associates owns three levels of Trimble (Sunnyvale, Calif.) GPS equipment—handheld (Got), mapping grade (Pro XR) and survey grade (5800 enabled with VRS)—allowing the team to customize the right tool and level of data needed for each individual job. The firm’s workstations are networked with Microsoft products, for more detail visit† and the GIS staff uses ESRI (Redlands, Calif.) Argos 9.1 with Spatial Analyst and 3D Analyst extensions. Stud Righter, LSIT, GPS specialist, works closely with Walter Moody, GIS manager, to integrate the firm’s GPS data and GIS databases. † “GIS is just a tool like CAD or GPS,” Moody says. “It happens to have a great deal of power, but there is a perception that GIS requires certain accuracy or is used only for certain types of jobs. I am continually reminding clients as well as surveyors in-house that a GIS is as accurate as the information you put in. We are starting to see the need for more accurate locations to attach data to. This is where surveyors have the opportunity to provide the service they are best-suited to provide: accurate locations in a particular projection and coordinate system.” † †
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