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Updating or adding attributes to existing data records

If you would like to add attributes to, or update values for existing attributes in, event records that have already been imported, you can do so by matching either the event ID or the tag ID and timestamp attributes from the data in your study and the file you are uploading. The easiest way to do this is typically to download a .csv file of the data from your study in Movebank format, add the new attribute/s and values to this file, and then upload the Movebank-format file with the new attribute/s. The file only needs to contain the event ID or the tag ID and timestamp attributes and the attribute/s you are adding. When you are ready to upload the new attribute/s to Movebank,

  • Log in to Movebank and go to Tracking Data Map > Studies.
  • Type in the name of your study and select the name from the list on the left to view the study details.
  • Select Upload data > Import data > Add attributes to, or update, existing tracking data from the menu on the Studies page.
  • Select whether to Match existing records by Movebank event ID or Match existing records by tag ID and timestamp.
  • Choose the file to upload and select Upload. You will then be prompted to confirm that you are permitted to upload the data.

The upload interface displays two tables that show the content of your file as Movebank sees it and a preview of how it will be saved in Movebank. The lower table, How Movebank will save the data, will appear after you have mapped an attribute from your data file to the Movebank format.

  • First, define the event ID or tag ID and timestamp attributes in your original data file, depending on which option you chose above. You can do this by clicking on a column header from the table under What Movebank sees in your file, choosing the relevant option from Map column, or selecting a field from the list of required mappings. The mapped column will appear under How Movebank will save the data, and an additional column, Matched, will verify whether the values were successfully mapped to the existing data set.
  • Next, map the new attribute/s to Movebank by clicking on the appropriate column header from the table under What Movebank sees in your file or choosing the relevant option from Map Column.
  • Once you have added all new attributes, select Finish. You will have the option of saving your file format.

See the Movebank attribute dictionary for a list of attributes accepted by Movebank. This list is not static and will grow over time. If you cannot find a particular attribute in the list, select Request attribute from the upload interface and fill out the form that appears or contact us at

If you receive an error message, please see Formatting issues for a list of common problems and solutions.