Exploring Tracking Data: Representations, Methods and Tools in a Spatial Database
The objects of movement ecology studies are animals whose movements are usually sampled at more-or-less regular intervals. This spatiotemporal sequence of locations is the basic, measured information that is stored in the database. Starting from this data set, animal movements can be analysed (and visualised) using a large set of different methods and approaches. These include (but are not limited to) trajectories, raster surfaces of probability density, points, (home range) polygons and tabular statistics. Each of these methods is a different representation of the original data set that takes into account specific aspects of the animals’ movement. The database must be able to support these multiple representations of tracking data. In this chapter, a wide set of methods for implementing many GPS tracking data representations into a spatial database (i.e. with SQL code and database functions) are introduced. The code presented is based on the database created in Chaps. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.