Data: Movebank Projects

Loading Movebank projects

Movebank data by …

To access data from Movebank you must register for a movebank account.

  1. Then, within Firetail use one of
  • File > Download Data by Tag ID
  • File > Download Data by Individual ID
  • File > Download Data by Deployment ID

to create a local project snapshot in $USER\movebank_data and enable the annotation feature

  1. A window will prompt you to enter your Movebank credentials. You may select to save your credentials within Firetail.

movebank credentials

  1. a list of studies will open, select a study containing supported data

Hint: start typing the name to quickly jump to a study of interest with the same prefix Use the quick search window to search for substrings.

Note: the study must contain valid GPS or acceleration data

  1. Depending on (download by) tag, individual or deployment ID you are the asked to select a study item of this category.

Use the quick search window to search for substrings.

  1. Select a study item and Hit OK to start the download
  2. Select the time range you wish to download

Starting with Firetail 9, you can select multiple study items and download all of them at once.

movebank multi file download

movebank range download

  • select Download Complete Data to download the complete data set
  • select Download Updates to retrieve all data tagged as update in movebank (Full License Only)
  • select Download Restricted by Date Range to subsets of the dataset (Full License Only)
  • check Overwrite existing files without confirmation to disable confirmations for existing files.

The Overwrite existing... option may be particularly useful in combination with Download Updates to retrieve all incremental changes without manual intervention. In case you end up with an inconsistent data set you can always download the complete dataset or required portions.

Despite we embedded several measures to avoid this situation download and file operation can never be failsafe in all cases. Make sure to include the local movebank data folder in your scheduled backup routines ($USER\movebank_downloads\).

You will be prompted to open the data set directly, yet it is possible to access it any time later on via File > Open Downloaded Data.

download movebank data

The quick filter box allows you to filter the listed studies/tags or individuals on the fly. If upper- and lowercase matters, check the match case checkbox.

download movebank data

Movebank timeout - Chunked downloads

You may experience that Firetail reports ‘Empty data received’ or similar errors.

Often, the reason may be a Movebank server-side timeout. For security reasons, the Movebank API restricts the maximum download size and will end a connection after a specified time which may lead to corrupted downloads. Firetail can try to circumvent this by splitting the download in smaller chunks and combine the data when all pieces are available.

To enable this behavior check Enable download of data in multiple chunks.

The mechanism is available for tag, individual, and deployment downloads and is the default when downloading complete studies via Download Movebank Study.

Local movebank projects

Firetail can open Movebank data from

via File > Open CSV File(s).

Most column definitions following the Movebank standards can be imported as well as several raw tag data or custom tag formats. In particular, Firetail should process location data, acceleration data and event based sensor data from a wide range of sources.

For datasets that contain one grouping and burst data, you can activate Firetail’s annotation mechanism.

For a more detailed list of supported file types, see Tag Vendors