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Software for Rapid Analysis and Visualization of Radio-Telemetry Data


Alan A. Ager, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Umatilla National Forest, 2517 Hailey Avenue, Pendleton, OR 97801 USA and Robert J. McGaughey, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, PNW Research Station, University of Washington, P.O. Box 352100, Seattle, WA 98195-2100 USA

The Loran-C radio-telemetry system installed at Starkey Experimental Forest and Range has generated over 800,000 animal locations since 1991. The project has been using a variety of software to analyze this large data set, including UTOOLS, a public domain package developed by the authors. UTOOLS is a collection of software and Paradox database structures that simplify spatial analysis and data visualization. UTOOLS was designed for landscape-level assessments where a wide array of resource data are integrated, analyzed, and interpreted. It is also well suited for the analysis and visualization of large radio-telemetry and habitat data sets. UTOOLS combines habitat themes (raster, attribute, and vector) into "spatial databases" where each record represents a square pixel of fixed area, and each field in the database represents a particular habitat theme. Spatial databases containing habitat information can be combined with radio-telemetry data. In this particular format it is possible to perform rapid data analyses and visualization using a combination of Paradox queries and UTOOLS programs. These spatial database can also be read directly by SAS with the Paradox ODBC driver, or exported to SAS ready ASCII files with UTOOLS. Data can be visualized with the UVIEW program, which can drape habitat and radio-telemetry data on three dimensional terrain models built from USGS DEM data. UVIEW also models forest and shrub vegetation, making it possible to create realistic landscape images draped with radio-telemetry data. UTOOLS programs, example data, and documentation are available at http://forsys.cfr.washington.edu/utools.html.

We also maintain a library of software written for the Starkey project at http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/uma/ager/. These programs include TELVIS, an interactive browser/editor for telemetry data, SCHOENER, which calculates Schoener's statistic (t2/r2), and a number of other utilities for analyzing sequential animal movements.


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