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Managing Argos data in Movebank

Movebank has a number of features designed especially for Argos users (read more about the Argos system here). For ongoing studies, Movebank allows you to create live feeds of Argos data, which will import new locations collected by Argos to your study in Movebank approximately every six hours. You can filter incoming data, view statistics about these data, and subscribe to receive e-mail notifications. For data that are already collected, Movebank allows you to upload raw DIAG and DS files or .csv files of processed datasets.

To add Argos data to Movebank, begin by registering and logging in at movebank.org. Next, create a new study. From the Studies page, you can upload existing Argos data or create and manage Argos subscriptions. Here's how to get started—click on any of the links for more details.

Creating a new Argos subscription

Go to your study in the Studies page and select Manage live feeds > Argos Monitor. Select New and choose which Argos channel to use to access your data. Enter your Argos Program ID, user name, and password and select Test connection.

Once the connection is working, select whether you want to import all data from the program or data for specific PTTs. Next, select whether you want to download DIAG and DS data, import and decode data from tags manufactured by Microwave or GeoTrak, and/or import Argos Doppler locations.

If you import Argos Doppler locations, Movebank automatically detects which of the two location estimates provided by Argos is more plausible. In addition, you can configure a filter based on the Argos location class or the the Douglas Argos-Filter Argorithm (see Douglas et al. 2012). Click Finish.

Managing live Argos feeds

After you have created an Argos subscription, Movebank will automatically update your study with new data from Argos approximately every six hours. You can view and manage your subscriptions by selecting Manage live feeds from the Studies page. You will see a Live Argos feed monitor, which shows the current status of data imports of the selected Argos program. You can modify your subscriptions by choosing a program and selecting Edit. Movebank can also give you summary statistics about your Argos data and send you periodic e-mail notifications with statistics and a KML file of locations.

Managing many Argos projects with Movebank

For larger research groups that want to manage many Argos programs using Movebank, a two-layer import system is available. The raw data for all projects are imported to a large “container” in Movebank, which is accessible to an administrator from your research group. The individual Movebank studies then connect to this container and import and filter the PTT data for the study. Contact us at support@movebank.org for details.

Uploading existing Argos data

If you have already collected Argos data, you can also upload these data to Movebank. You can upload data in raw DIAG format, raw DS format (for Microwave or GeoTrak tags), or processed data in a generic tabular format. Go to your study in the Studies page and select Upload data > Import data > GPS data or Argos Doppler data. Follow the instructions in the import wizard to import the data.

What to do with your Argos data after they are in Movebank

After you have your live Argos feed working, Movebank offers a variety of tools to help you work with and share your data. For example, you can easily view your updated tracks on a map, adjust your Argos filter settings, or link your movement data to hundreds of environmental parameters from global remote sensing datasets and weather models using the Env-DATA System. Flexible permissions options allow you to keep your data to yourself, share them with collaborators, or make them available to the public. 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.