From Points to Habitat: Relating Environmental Information to GPS Positions

  • Ferdinando UrbanoEmail author
  • Mathieu Basille
  • Pierre Racine


Animals move in and interact with complex environments that can be characterised by a set of spatial layers containing environmental data. Spatial databases can manage these different data sets in a unified framework, defining spatial and non-spatial relationships that simplify the analysis of the interaction between animals and their habitat. A large set of analyses can be performed directly in the database with no need for dedicated GIS or statistical software. Such an approach moves the information content managed in the database from a ‘geographical space’ to an ‘animal’s ecological space’. This more comprehensive model of the animals’ movement ecology reduces the distance between physical reality and the way data are structured in the database, filling the semantic gap between the scientist’s view of biological systems and its implementation in the information system. This chapter shows how vector and raster layers can be included in the database and how you can handle them using (spatial) SQL. The database built so far in  Chaps. 2,  3,  4 and  5 is extended with environmental ancillary data sets and with an automated procedure to intersect these layers with GPS positions.


PostGIS Raster data Data management Spatial database 


  1. Jarvis A, Reuter HI, Nelson A, Guevara E (2008) Hole-filled seamless SRTM data V4. International centre for tropical agriculture (CIAT)Google Scholar
  2. Obe OR, Hsu LS (2011) PostGIS in action. Manning Publications Company, GreenwichGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ferdinando Urbano
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mathieu Basille
    • 2
  • Pierre Racine
    • 3
  1. 1.Università Iuav di VeneziaVeniceItaly
  2. 2.Fort Lauderdale Research and Education CenterUniversity of FloridaFort LauderdaleUSA
  3. 3.Centre for Forest ResearchUniversity LavalQuebecCanada

Personalised recommendations