R: Navigating through movement packages

The use of biologging devices is increasing as a consequence of the development of new and cheaper loggers. With large amounts of available data, more sophisticated tools to process, visualize and analyze movement data are being developed. One of the most used programming softwares for this matter is the free open source R software. We have identified more than 70 R packages dedicated to the study of movement! The large amount of existing packages makes it difficult to keep track of what is available and how to make the right choice about what to use. For that reason, we are working on a review of movement packages intended as a road map for users, to know what exists and their purpose, and discuss new challenges for package developers.

We also prepared an online survey about movement packages to be completed by users. As an independent source of information, it will enable us to assess how popular and relevant these packages are, and how helpful their documentation is to users. As part of the review, the main contribution of the survey will concern the quality of the packages’ documentation. Documentation in the form of manuals, vignettes, tutorials or published articles is key to understand how to use a package’s features for the first time, especially if the package contains a large number of functions and tools. Assessing how helpful the documentation is, and how this is related to the frequency of use or the relevance of a package can be valuable inputs for package maintainers and future package developers.

Packages considered in the survey are focused on biologging or trajectory data (not just spatial or spatiotemporal data). Those are: acc, accelerometry, adehabitatHR, adehabitatHS, adehabitatLT, amt, animalTrack, anipaths, argosfilter, argosTrack, BayesianAnimalTracker, BBMM, bcpa, bsam, caribou, crawl, ctmcmove, ctmm, diveMove, drtracker, EMbC, feedR, FLightR, GeoLight, GGIR, hab, HMMoce, Kftrack, m2b, marcher, migrateR, mkde, momentuHMM, move, moveHMM, movement, movementAnalysis, moveNT, moveVis, moveWindSpeed, nparACT, pathtrackr, pawacc, PhysicalActivity, probgls, rbl, recurse, rhr, rpostgisLT, rsMove, SDLfilter, SGAT/TripEstimation, sigloc, SimilarityMeasures, SiMRiv, smam, SwimR, T-LoCoH, telemetr, trackdem, trackeR, Trackit, TrackReconstruction, TrajDataMining, trajectories, trip, TwGeos/BAStag, TwilightFree, Ukfsst/kfsst, VTrack and wildlifeDI.

If you’ve ever used a biologging/movement package, please fill in our survey, it will only take 5-10 minutes to complete (we promise!). Your participation is essential for us to get sensible results, and will be instrumental in moving the field forward!

Tracking movement packages Tracking movement packages

For additional information, you can always contact Rocío Joo at rocio.joo@ufl.edu, who is leading this project, or subscribe to the dedicated mailing list (the link is also provided at the end of the survey). We will also publish the results of the survey on this website.

Rocío

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