Frequently Asked Questions

I really like Firetail, how can I help the project?

That’s awesome! Spread the word!

We are passionate about the Firetail project and want to provide you with reliable software that is thoroughly tested, designed and maintained! Firetail is highly specialized software, and we rely on your ideas and shape Firetail’s development along your requirements.

Still, we need a robust user base, therefore, if you wish to help the development of Firetail please support us by purchasing a full license, join the group of Fellowship Sponsors to help us provide licenses to early-carrer professionals, or simply include funding for Firetail or Firetail Services (kickstart analysis, project consulting) in your next funding application.

Do you provide additional services for our project?

Yes, we provide services for data analysis and annotation for research, conservation and GIS. More information

Or get in touch: contact us

I’m using the Free Edition, are you using/selling my data?

Never. Your data remains your property. We do not access or sell it in any way.

Notably, we are open to cooperation, in which case you can provide us with data based on an NDA agreement. This way, we can improve Firetail or provide research services for you.

I am already registered on your website and just want to download Firetail

The latest version for registered users is available here Direct download

I need to downgrade Firetail - where can I find older versions?

Please refer to our archive of production releases

How to cite Firetail?

M. Berger, T. Petri, M. Gentile, and F. Schäuffelhut, 
“Firetail – a fast and versatile software for the visualization and analysis of tagged animal data,” 
Schäuffelhut Berger GmbH, Version 12, Dec 2024. [Software]. Available from: https://www.firetail.de

If you require information that is not covered by this manual, don’t hesitate to contact us

How can I open e-obs logger.bin files with Firetail?

E-obs logger.bin bin files can be extracted via the e-obs tools available here: e-obs Service & Downloads.

The decoder is a command-line tool from e-obs.

  1. download and extract the decoder-v14-win64.zip (or later)
  2. place the executable in the same directory as your logger.bin file
  3. double click the decoder-v14-win64.exe
  4. Press ’m' for movebank and ‘Enter’

The resulting files can then be opened with Firetail.

PowerShell users can use:

.\decoder_v14_win64.exe -f G:\firetail\test-data\logger\logger.bin -c m -d G:\firetail\test-data\logger\test\
                         ^               ^                          ^ ^  ^         ^
                         |               |                          | |  |         |
                         file switch     |                          | |  |         your result directory (must exists)
                                         path to file               | |  directory switch
                                                                    | export as movebank
                                                                    action switch                        

The annotation toolsets from your video tutorials do not show? Why?

Activate the annotation toolset using

File > Annotation > Enable Annotations

Note that annotating multiple animals at once is not yet supported. Firetail will automatically the toolset when FireSOM opened and for Movebank Tags, Individuals and Deployments:

  1. File > Download Movebank by Tag ID
  2. File > Download Movebank by Individual
  3. File > Download Movebank by Deployment

My dataset does not feature acceleration data, can I annotate GPS fixes instead?

Yes. From Firetail 9 it is possible to create pseudo bursts for a Movebank project around each GPS fix:

  1. Right click on an individual/tag/deployment in the Open Files viewport
  2. Select Create empty ACC burst space
  3. Select regions via the map or within the burst window, create new categories/layers as usual

empty burst space

A short burst is created for each GPS measurement as a center of the (empty) burst. Saving, exporting and importing will work as usual.

FireSOM acceleration annotation relies on acceleration patterns and cannot be applied on generated bursts

Large Movebank downloads seem to fail consistently.

For security reasons, the Movebank API has some restrictions in terms of download size and a fixed timeout that we cannot bypass. Firetail provides ‘chunked’ downloads for studies and on the tag/individual/deployment level.

When downloading data, the Time Range Selection dialog provides a checkbox to allow downloading data as multiple chunks. For complete studies this will be applied automatically.

I am a student doing my bachelor’s/master’s thesis. I can’t afford Firetail.

Reach out: possibly you can join the Firetail Scholarship Program and receive a free student’s license.

We want to run a practical course/tutorial using Firetail

Let us know, we can provide short-term licenses for your courses and tutorials.

Features, Bugs, Assorted

  • Are you missing a feature?
  • Did you run into any problems while using Firetail?
  • You uncovered a bug in Firetail?
  • You found errors or missing sections in this manual?
  • You have some other request?

Your feedback is highly appreciated! Do not hesitate to contact us: