Our January 2014 Newsletter

Dear Movebank users,

As we begin the new year, we have several accomplishments to report. Movebank grew steadily throughout 2013, and the year ended with over 1,000 user-created studies (growth of 50 percent), 350 taxa (growth of 40 percent), and more than 61 million unique animal locations (growth of 70 percent). As you'll see below, we're continuing to add and improve ways to help researchers, educators, and the public better understand and communicate about animal tracking data.

The Env-DATA System for linking animal movements to environmental data
In July, we released the new Env-DATA Track Annotation Service, which allows you to link animal movement data in Movebank with information from many global environmental datasets, including weather models and satellite imagery. The service accesses these datasets and provide estimates for hundreds of environmental parameters—such as wind conditions, land use, vegetation, and snow cover—for each time-location record along an animal's track. For more details see a paper published in the new journal Movement Ecology.

New features Other new features added to the site since our last update include

  • In addition to live feeds for Argos PTTs and GSM tags from e-obs, we now offer feeds for Microwave GSM tags so that users can transfer their data directly to their studies in Movebank.
  • Geolocator users can now store and share raw light-level data in Movebank, along with derived location estimates and related metadata.

Symposium on Animal Movement and the Environment As part of the NASA-funded Env-DATA project, the Symposium on Animal Movement and the Environment will be held on May 4–7 at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, North Carolina. In addition to talks and posters, the symposium will include hands-on tutorials and the option of hosting your own collaborative workshop. And, if you have questions about Movebank, we will be available throughout the meeting at the Movebank Cafe! Registration is open and the abstract deadline is February 15. For more information see amovee.wordpress.com.

Beta: Show off your tracking data on your own website One of the benefits to having your data in an online database is that you can easily share animal movements with the public. While Movebank has always allowed you to do this from your Movebank studies, we realize that many users already have websites where they share their research with the public, and that it would be ideal to be able to use Movebank to display a map with your data on your own site. We are now experimenting with code that you can plug directly into your own site to create interactive maps showing the movements of animals you are following. As an example, see Rob Bierregaard's osprey migration maps at ospreytrax.com. If you are interested in trying out this new option, just send us an email.

New datasets published in the Movebank Data Repository
In 2013 we published several new datasets in the Movebank Data Repository, archiving the movements of fisher, Cory's shearwaters, Burchell's zebras, Galapagos albatross, and more. Publishing data in the Movebank Data Repository allows you to have your data curated and formally archived, providing you with a DOI and citable reference for your data. You can submit datasets associated with any published paper—just contact us at support@movebank.org, preferably around the time you submit your manuscript.

This summer and fall we presented at several meetings in the US, including the American Society of Mammalogists meeting in Philadelphia, the Ecological Society of America's 98th Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, a joint meeting of the American Ornithologists' Union and Cooper Ornithological Society in Chicago, the Wildlife Society meeting in Milwaukee, and the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. In addition, we participated in a number of researcher workshops and college courses.

What's next?
In the coming months, we will be working on a number of new features. In addition to general performance and site improvements, a top priority is to find better ways to visualize high-resolution datasets, to provide faster loading time and more flexible viewing options. We are also continuing to add additional environmental datasets to the Env-DATA Service, and will be adding the option of GSM feeds for more tag manufacturers. Remember that you can contact us anytime with feedback or requests for assistance. You can stay informed by checking for news on the homepage or on Facebook.

We wish you a great start to 2014!


The Movebank Team

Published by Movebank on 2014-01-13