Josh London vingnette

Working with Data in the Wildlife Computers Data Portal

Do you know what to do with your data after you download it from the Wildlife Computers Data Portal? Did you recover an instrument and need to figure out what to do with a full archive? Over the years, some of our amazing clients have fine-tuned their data management and analysis techniques and want to share their knowledge with the rest of the world!

One question we often get asked is how to identify or predict dive locations for air-breathing critters. When you download the data from the Wildlife Computers Data Portal or from your tags, you have the *-Locations.csv file and a separate file that contains the dive data (e.g. Behavior.csv). For most of you the goal is to figure out how to combine the two types of data and predict where the dives are occurring. In this episode of “What To Do With Your Data,’ Josh London from NOAAs Polar Ecosystem Program, shares a vignette that takes you from a downloaded .zip file all the way to a predicted movement path for multiple animals and an animated figure to show it all off. You can find the vignette here:

Everything in this vignette is done in R, a free software environment for statistical computing, and uses the “tidyverse” philosophy and data structure. It also describes how to predict a movement path using the “crawl” package. The vignette itself comes with its own data to familiarize yourself with the functions before attempting to use it on your own data. The only thing I will add is that if you have behavior data that specify actual dive times (from Instrument Helper’s Dive Analysis program or from the Behavior.csv) you can use these specific times instead of predicting dives at a regular interval along the movement path.

Do you know how to do something neat with your data? Do you have an analysis method that you would like to share directly with other Wildlife Computers users? Let us know by emailing us at

Dr. Kenady Wilson is Wildlife Computers resident biologist and data whisperer whose research focuses on quantitative applications for telemetry data. Dr. Wilson is the developer of new analysis methods for telemetry data and author of several research publications including her latest Estimating animal utilization densities using continuous-time Markov chain models. Her publications include work with Stellar sea lions, Harbor seals, and Hawaiian monk seals. She holds her Ph.D. from Duke University. She likes being outside with friends and family and hates it when people put nuts in baked goods.

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