WineQuesters – and disaster mapping

Jim Preston from WineQuesters pointed me to his site a while ago. He logged several thousand miles (and hours, I’m sure) driving to wineries and tasting rooms, in order to get accurate GPS data on where these are located. Anyone who has seen a list of P O Box addresses and “nearest big town” addresses for wineries knows the challenge of using public address info for mapping. And as far as I can tell, he’s done this for wineries that accept visitors – and not necessarily “outing” small wineries that don’t accept visitors and don’t publish their vineyard address.

WineQuesters also has a forums area for people to discuss visiting wineries, and more to the point, propose wine tasting tours. This is a great niche, and one that I know has an audience. (I have a couple of friends who can spend far too much time on planning wine tasting trips. I think their all time best was 7 in one day, with a designated driver. It doesn’t seem like a lot but try it sometime….)

Then the fires started, and Jim began using his mapping skills to map out the Big Sur wildfires. The project started coming full circle once the wineries in Upper Carmel Valley began to be threatened…. Jim says 8-11 thousand people are using his maps – some people are relying on them to decide whether to evacuate or not!

Ultimately, he said his experience there will inform Wine Questers. And maybe some Questers will check out the wineries in Carmel who may need some extra attention after this fire….

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