Managing geolocator data in Movebank

Movebank provides special support for solar geolocator data. Solar geolocators are loggers that are attached to animals that collect light levels, which are used to estimate the location and movement of the animal. These tags are commonly used for tracking small migrating birds and marine species. The animal tracks that come from geolocators are very sensitive to how the light-level data are processed—therefore, it is important not only to store the location data, but also the light-level data, to allow development and testing of better processing methods.

To add geolocator data to Movebank, begin by registering for a free account and logging in. Next, create a new study. From the Studies page you can upload and organize

  • raw light recordings
  • annotated twilights
  • location estimates
  • deployment-level information about the tags, animals, deployments and data processing steps
  • additional files such as R scripts that document the data and processing

To import tables with light levels, twilight selections and location estimates, see instructions for importing custom tabular data. For .trj files from British Antarctic Survey geolocators, there is a supported standard format.

To import deployment-level information, see instructions for importing reference data.

To upload additional files, see instructions for uploading file attachments.

For more detailed instructions and best practices, see Chapter 9 of the Light-level Geolocation Analysis Manual and Lisovski et al. (2019).

What to do with your solar geolocator data after they are in Movebank

Movebank offers a variety of tools to help you work with and share your data. Flexible permissions options allow you to keep your data to yourself, share them with collaborators, or make them available to the public. You can easily view your tracks on a map, download tracks for use with Google Earth or ArcGIS, or link your movement data to hundreds of environmental parameters from global remote sensing datasets and weather models using the Env-DATA System. If you want to formally archive your dataset, you can submit it for publication in the Movebank Data Repository, a public online archive hosted at the University of Konstanz.


Data management and analysis

Quality control of uploaded data

Defining deployments and outliers

Deployment Manager

Event Editor

Data filters

  General purpose data filters

  Argos data filters

Manage Argos data

Manage geolocator data

Delete data