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Software - GeoLight

The R package GeoLight provides basic functions for determining location based on geolocator data obtained from light-level loggers (light intensity measurements over time). It was developed by Simeon Lisovski, Simon Wotherspoon, Michael Sumner, Silke Bauer, Tamara Emmenegger and Steffen Hahn at the Swiss Ornithological Institute. Functions allow users to

  • determine sunrise and sunset
  • determine movement and residency periods based on sun events independent of any seasonal inaccuracy (behaviour, vegetation, weather) and equinox periods
  • choose from period-specific calibration methods (civil twilight calibration, in-habitat-calibration and Hill-Ekstrom calibration)
  • calculate geographic positions

Mapping and graphical tools are available for most functions.

Additional resources:
Lisovksi, S., and Hahn, S., 2012, GeoLight—processing and analysing light-based geolocator data in R: Methods in Ecology and Evolution, v. 3, i. 6, p. 1055–1059. doi:10.1111/j.2041-210X.2012.00248.x. Available at

Compatibility with Movebank: 

The package does not currently access light level data directly from Movebank. Movebank can be used to archive raw light-level data and derived locations as described here.

Maintained by: 

Simeon Lisovski

How to Obtain: 

The package and user guide can be downloaded from

Software Type

R package

Software Keywords

Software Screenshot