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UK LIDAR survey reveals potential wine growing areas

26 October 2015

New laser mapping data is about to revolutionise the already booming English wine industry by helping growers identify new land to grow better quality grapes.

An example of aerial LIDAR scanning courtesy of the #OpenDefra project

The recent release of 3D LIDAR maps, produced by the Environment Agency, will help growers better understand the tiny variations in slope and aspect of their land. When used in combination with other data, growers will be able to pinpoint the best location to plant vines that will thrive.

Experts estimate that an additional 75,000 acres of land across the country – equivalent to the Champagne region in France – is prime for grape growing and could be exploited by new-comers seeking to join the award-winning ranks of internationally acclaimed English wines.

The extensive LIDAR archive – which contains 11 terabytes of information and covers most of England – was originally used by the Environment Agency to plan flood defences and analyse land use.

It was released last month under the #OpenDefra project, which will see 8,000 datasets made publicly available in the next year, so that commercial industries and members of the public can use it free of charge.

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