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The Env-DATA System

8-day ocean net primary productivity annotated to tracks of Galapagos albatrosses.

The Environmental Data Automated Track Annotation System (Env-DATA) is a set of free tools on Movebank to help you link animal movement data with information from global environmental datasets, like weather models and satellite imagery. These datasets provide estimates for thousands of environmental parameters—such as wind conditions, land use, vegetation, and snow cover—for the whole world, with many measurements available from the 1970s to the present. By making it easy to connect animal movement data with these datasets, we hope to make it easier for you to explore how animals' movements relate to their environment.

With the Env-DATA Track Annotation Service, users can add estimates of hundreds of environmental variables to animal tracking data by selecting tracks, browsing and selecting variables, and submitting a request. You can browse available datasets here.

It is also possible to use Env-DATA to access environmental data related to but not the same as the animal tracks themselves. This includes annotating gridded data for a geographic area or point location records over a chosen time period. Because these types of data are not stored on Movebank, requests are submitted outside of this website. Please contact for more information.

A tutorial on the use of Env-DATA was presented by Somayeh Dodge at the May 2014 Symposium on Animal Movement and the Environment, and is available at

Development and maintenance of Env-DATA is funded by

  • the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and Max Planck Society
  • US National Science Foundation Biological Infrastructure award 1564380
  • NASA ABoVE project NNX15AT91A
  • previous: NASA Earth Science Division, Ecological Forecasting Program project NNX11AP61G

The system is described in detail in

Dodge S, Bohrer G, Weinzierl R, Davidson SC, Kays R, Douglas D, Cruz S, Han J, Brandes D, Wikelski M (2013) The Environmental-Data Automated Track Annotation (Env-DATA) System: linking animal tracks with environmental data. Movement Ecology 1:3. doi:10.1186/2051-3933-1-3

Please send questions and feedback to