Collaboration the key to getting the best from technology

RD&A News | June 2021
11 Jun 2021
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A project that aims to reduce the ‘road blocks’ to open technology in the wine sector – and allow it to capitalise on advancements in digital technologies – is about to embark on its second phase.

Collabriculture’s first project was the Open Vineyard Data Model, that brought together growers, industry, government, academia, technologists and geospatial experts to work together to agree on what were the most important features of vineyards to map. The group then set about defining the data standards for describing and storing data for digital vineyard map attributes such as blocks and vine rows.

‘We were able to practically and constructively work on some of the frustrations and opportunities those in the agtech, viticulture, and technical services industry could see around interoperable mapping, but could not address alone’, said Oli Madgett, the CEO and Co-Founder of Platfarm said.

The second phase of the project – funded by Wine Australia – is now set to begin.

Through in-person and online workshops, the new phase of the project will focus on how to accurately survey vineyards at scale and will practically demonstrate the benefits of putting key mapping layers such as Vineyard Block Boundaries into an open platform that's designed to create interoperability between technologies.

The project will also openly publish key data sets such as grape varieties online in a developer-friendly way and work through the governance structure for managing updates to these repositories.

Oli said the Collabriculture project was set to benefit the wine sector as a whole and demonstrate the benefits of an open approach to technology.

‘Currently the wine industry is not joined up from a data interoperability perspective. AgTech solutions are often very clunky for the end user. For example, the user has to re-draw their blocks every time they use a new mapping interface, or data about work carried out doesn’t flow through without “friction” to their reporting platforms. Interoperability between systems is also often very difficult.

‘Without defining, understanding, and openly sharing foundational mapping standards we have been stifling development and interoperability between platforms, technologies, and systems.’

He says having common standards would help to create a better technical foundation for the sector as a whole.

To date, the Collabriculture community has worked together to reach consensus around an abstract data model for vineyards, which outlines the most important mapping features of a vineyard

This data model has subsequently been published as a developer orientated Logical Data Model, with an example implementation being published on GitHub.

‘The collabriculture model is not something that can be built by outsiders if it is going to work for our industry on our terms’, Oli said.

‘It will continue to need community involvement from the ground up in order to implement technologies that make sense for the work that we do now and the work we want to be doing in the future.’

To join the Collabriculture community, go to

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.