The Movebank Data Model for Animal Tracking

TitleThe Movebank Data Model for Animal Tracking
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsKranstauber, B, Cameron, A, Weinzerl, R, Fountain, T, Tilak, A, Wikelski, M, Kays, RW
JournalEnvironmental Modelling & Software
KeywordsAnimal movement, Argos, Data model, GPS, Tracking, VHF Telemetry

Studies of animal movement are rapidly increasing as tracking technologies make it possible to collect more data of a larger variety of species. Comparisons of animal movement across sites, times, or species are key to asking questions about animal adaptation, responses to climate and land-use change. Thus, great gains can be made by sharing and exchanging animal tracking data. Here we present an animal movement data model that we use within the Movebank web application to describe tracked animals. The model facilitates data comparisons across a broad range of taxa, study designs, and technologies, and is based on the scientific questions that could be addressed with the data.