Open Data is the philosophy and practice of making data freely available, easy to access, and easy to use by anyone. Open Data is increasingly recognized world-wide as a valuable way to increase efficiency, transparency, and participation in data-driven initiatives. Specific to the world of wildlife monitoring, Open Data can help address scientific questions about species change by connecting people, facilitating cooperation and collaboration, and bringing together complementary datasets. WildTrax provides a robust, flexible, and adaptive platform for Open Data and encourages collectors to contribute to Open Data initiatives.
How does WildTrax support a flexible approach to Open Data?
WildTrax supports a flexible approach to Open Data through the following means:
- Customizability. Administrators can choose a level of openness that meets the needs of a particular location, project, or organization.
- Seamless data sharing pipelines through the management of users and data sharing agreements. Though sharing your data widely or publicly is not required, it is strongly encouraged in the spirit of collaboration and innovation.
- Tools that facilitate discovery of data and allow for users to filter, search, visualize, and extract publicly available data of interest.
The WildTrax approach to open data presents a vision whereby data collectors can easily input high quality data, and data users can discover, access, and work with these datasets. Through partnerships with other data agencies, we strive to provide tools for facilitating Open Data, while creating a system that is flexible and adaptive to evolving data collection practices. Through collaboration and coordination among participating data curators, we aim to meet the needs of various users, from field collectors to decision makers.
What Open Data initiatives does WildTrax support?
- WildTrax is working with Environment and Climate Change Canada and Birds Canada to standardize and amalgamate publicly available bird data with NatureCounts and subsequently the Avian Knowledge Network (AKN)
- Part of the Alberta Remote Camera Steering Committee (RCSC), which works closely with the WildCAM network: WildTrax is working with this growing community of practice
- Long-term collaboration with the Boreal Avian Modelling Project: WildTrax is working with BAM to improve coordination of all human-based and ARU-based point counts into a standard format that enables national bird modeling in support of effective conservation planning in Canada. The BAM data is now available in WildTrax as the Point Count sensor.
- Part of Wildlife Insights: WildTrax is represented on WI’s User Committee and is contributing data to support WI automatic recognition development for camera images.
Open Data within WildTrax can be found within the Data Download portion of your user dashboard. We are currently working on a Data Discover interface, which will allow users to explore and discover Open Data within the WildTrax system using various searchable fields and a mapping interface.
What are the permission levels within WildTrax?
- Administrators can control permissions at three different levels within WildTrax: 1) Organization, 2) Project, and 3) Location. Details on these different privacy settings and how they work can be found here.
- Organization and project membership is either read (Read-Only) or read + write (Admin).
- Locations are hidden or visible with various buffering options.
- Release of data occurs primarily through the Project permissions settings, which includes the following levels:
All components of the project remain fully private and are only accessible to the organization and project members.
Project locations can be viewed in Data Discover but species data are not available for download.
Map + Report Only
The project is included in Data Discover and the data can be downloaded by the public, however the public cannot access media associated with the project.
All components of the data, including media, are publicly available in Data Downloads and Data Discover and can be accessed on the project dashboard.