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Phase 4 is live!

Over the past several months, and in uncertain times, the WildTrax team has completed Phase 4 of WildTrax. If you're new to WildTrax and unsure about what the most recent development launch has to offer, here's a brief overview.

The setup

Environmental sensors, such as autonomous recording units (ARUs) and remote cameras are increasingly being used to monitor wildlife on the landscape. An almost continuous stream of acoustic and image data can be generated from these technologies, but the caveat of additional needs around data storage, processing standardization and sharing of resulting species data. These sensors also rapidly began replacing the human observer; keeping them out of danger in precarious habitats and times of day, but also collecting much more data than a human ever could.

Partners from the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) and the University of Alberta came together with generous funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada and Alberta Environment and Parks among others to create WildTrax. This web-enabled platform allows you to do everything from uploading and storing media to creating projects to sharing and discovering data from your study area.

Manage

WildTrax currently supports three sensor types:

  • Autonomous recording units (ARUs)
  • Remote cameras
  • Point count surveys

Data are standardized and integrated in a comprehensive, accessible way throughout the system. This allows you to explore your summarized media or manage your equipment and locations in an organization or create or join a project to upload media or process data. The new Manage buttons help you sync locations, visits, or equipment more easily now in WildTrax. You can also sync avian point count data to a standard format. Visit auto-generation automatically extracts metadata from datasets that reflect the time and location of active sensor deployments.

In Phase 4, WildTrax now includes the point count sensor. You can manage your point count data at the project level.

Store

Users now have the ability to batch upload information and media for all three sensor types. Administrating a project allows you to upload media to an ARU or camera project and upload survey data for point counts. Media are securely stored on an Amazon S3 server and accessible via the tagging interfaces.

In Phase 4, WildTrax is offering 1 TB of storage space for free for each newly created organization.

Process

Tasks (ARUs), image sets (cameras) and surveys (point counts) are processed and managed according to each sensor type. Each processing interface is customized to allow you to seamlessly tag and interact with your data in a quick, efficient and standard way.

In Phase 4, WildTrax has enhanced many aspects of the ARU and camera tagging interfaces.

  • Camera
    • Replacement of the two-stage subsampling tab with the series view tab
  • ARU
    • Re-design of the Audit tab
    • Modification of abundance field (now numeric + TMTT (too many to tag) + amphibian calling intensities)
  • Point Count - new sensor
    • Manage and sync point count surveys to a project

Share

WildTrax offers an intricate but easy way to share your data throughout the system. Privacy levels exist for both locations and projects and you can control membership to both organizations and projects. While WildTrax advocates for open data sharing, it also recognizes the need to keep data, locations or species detections secure.

Administrators manage organizations or projects and the data therein. Whereas, read-only members are either collaborators who can view or download data for your research or their reporting purposes. Organization administrators can also be principal investigators to the organization. This allows these users to respond to all access requests related to organization or project data. You can use the Data Downloads to get a csv of your acoustic, camera, or point count data as well. 

Discover

Data Discover allows you to easily map the locations of organization, project or species data depending on your membership level or status of the project.

Finally, you can find all the information you're looking for in the new book WildTrax: The Definitive Guide. The guide is a comprehensive, accessible, engaging set of documentation for you to get started using WildTrax and explore its different features and functions. The documentation is constantly being updated to match the system, with the 1st Edition "Rising from the Mist" being released in 2021 alongside the development release of Phase 4.

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You can email info@wildtrax.ca to get more information about WildTrax or support@wildtrax.ca to report and bugs or issues. And stay tuned for more information live on our new What's New section.