Extending Track Analysis from Animals in the Lab to Moving Objects Anywhere

  • Wil van DommelenEmail author
  • Piërre van de Laar
  • Lucas P. J. J. Noldus


In this chapter we compare two application domains in which the tracking of objects and the analysis of their movements are core activities, viz. animal tracking and vessel tracking. More specifically, we investigate whether EthoVision XT, a research tool for video tracking and analysis of the behavior, movement, and activities of animals in a laboratory setting, can be adapted and applied to the tracking and analysis of vessels in the maritime domain. The investigation involves a case study where EthoVision XT is used to detect vessels speeding in zones reserved for anchored vessels. A few important differences between animal tracking in a laboratory and vessel tracking at sea were observed while executing the case study. The maritime domain, as opposed to the laboratory, requires to take into account: the curvature of the earth; objects that temporarily disappear from view; a volatile and dynamic set of objects; changing roles of vessels at sea; and irregularly arriving, non-time-equidistant data samples. The conclusion is that for EthoVision XT fundamental modifications, adaptations, and extensions are necessary to make this tool generally applicable in the maritime domain. Instead of a redesign and refactoring of EthoVision XT, the design and realization of a new tool is preferred. The new tool will benefit from our experiences and insights obtained by exploring similarities and differences between application domains from the perspective of a single research tool.


Track Analysis Video Tracking Automatic Identification System Maritime Safety Path Shape 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research has been carried out as a part of the Poseidon project at Thales under the responsibilities of the Embedded Systems Institute (ESI). This project is partially supported by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs under the BSIK program.

We would like to thank Jan Tretmans, Arjan Mooij, and Maarten van Someren for their useful feedback on an earlier version of this chapter.


  1. 1.
    Radiocommunication Sector of International Telecommunication Union, Geneva (2010) Technical characteristics for an automatic identification system using time-division multiple access in the VHF maritime mobile band, April 2010.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wil van Dommelen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Piërre van de Laar
    • 2
  • Lucas P. J. J. Noldus
    • 1
  1. 1.Noldus Information Technology BVWageningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Embedded Systems InstituteEindhovenThe Netherlands

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