I wanted to display the track of a leatherback turtle on SOS, so, I did a
searched the web for animal migration data, which lead me to the Integrated
Ocean Observing System website, which contains
animal telemetry data. I selected a few options on the left-hand side toolbar,
and was presented with a map of the turtle’s track.
Then, from the right-hand side toolbar, I downloaded the following track file
(which already happened to be in a csv file format).
For convenience (and also so that I would have a copy of the original file in
case I needed it for later or wanted to start over), I copied the file to a new
file called leatherback.csv.
I then opened leatherback.csv in Excel (open it in csv mode) and edited the
track data to be in the format that a moving pip requires — i.e. removed
all column labels and removed all columns of data except for the latitude and
longitude columns, and then added a new column of data (the first column) with
sequential frame numbers in them.
As a side note, because the file was opened and/or saved using the csv file
format, when I view the file in a simple text editor like TextEdit or Gedit,
the file should look like this excerpt (i.e. fields separated by commas):
Given this path file, when the SOS dataset animation reaches frame number 6,
the turtle PIP will be positioned at latitude 10.33 and longitude -86.02.
Once my moving PIP path file was in its correct format, I was ready to create
an SOS dataset. Using the SOS Visual Playlist Editor (VPLE), I created a
site-custom dataset by adding a Layer of a sea surface temperature movie that I
found in the SOS Data Catalog, and then I added a PIP image of a leatherback
turtle that I found online.
To make my PIP move, I needed to link my csv path file to the PIP. So, in the
Element tab for the turtle PIP, I clicked on the button next to the “Moving PIP
(add/edit)” field to add the leatherback.csv file and to specify the line
color and size of the line. If you don’t want a line, simply uncheck the line
box. Click Save to save your changes. (See the Create Moving
PIPs section in the VPLE manual for more information.)
When I finished creating and saving my dataset in the VPLE, I loaded the
dataset onto SOS and the turtle started to move as the dataset was animating.
Many global datasets have timestamps, and many migration tracks also have
timestamps. With a little more effort, you can find ways to match the data so
that there is a clear and accurate tie-in between the global data and the track