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Book Chapter

Extreme dynamic mapping: Animals map themselves on the “Cloud”

By
Eugene Potapov
Eugene Potapov
Bryn Athyn College, College Drive, Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania 19009, USA
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Valery Hronusov
Valery Hronusov
“Inform++ Ltd,” Shatrova St, 20-25, Perm 614064, Russia
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Published:
October 01, 2012

Animal tracking data are routinely delivered in the form of e-mail messages with an attachment or in the main text of an e-mail that includes satellite-telemetry data provided by Argos services. Downloading these data onto a computer, transferring them into shapefiles, filtering, processing, and displaying them consumes considerable end-user time and energy. In this paper, we demonstrate that freely available “Cloud”-based services are sufficient to take over this workload and fast enough to deliver spatial data to an end-user without a considerable investment of time. The animal-generated spatial data we present come in two forms: satellite data from the Argos service and GPS data delivered as text messages using a Short Message Service (SMS). We suggest a simple mail-to-map system, which automatically archives data (coordinates, time, telemetry) and displays it dynamically on various Internet applications such as Google Maps/Google Earth or Google Graphs. We use the Gmail service to filter messages, a free blog service (e.g., blogger.com or wordpress.com) for unlimited-time data storage and the Google spreadsheets to dynamically assemble the KML (Keyhole Markup Language) files. To demonstrate the utility of our mail-to-map system, we apply the approach to two contrasting wildlife case studies—the highly endangered Steller's Sea Eagle (Haliaetus pelagicus) of northeast Asia and White-tailed Deer (Odolescens virginianus), which is ubiquitous in the eastern United States—and discuss conservation implications of the near-real-time data publication opportunities that our system provides.

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GSA Special Papers

Google Earth and Virtual Visualizations in Geoscience Education and Research

Steven J. Whitmeyer
Steven J. Whitmeyer
Department of Geology & Environmental Science, James Madison University, Memorial Hall, MSC 6903, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807, USA
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John E. Bailey
John E. Bailey
Scenarios Network for Alaska & Arctic Planning, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 99709, USA
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Declan G. De Paor
Declan G. De Paor
Department of Physics, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia 23529, USA
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Tina Ornduff
Tina Ornduff
Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy, Mountain View, California 94043, USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
492
ISBN print:
9780813724928
Publication date:
October 01, 2012

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