Wednesday, July 25, 2018

When Birds Attack

During the nesting season (April-July) crows can become aggressive, particularly when they perceive a threat to their brood. Sometimes crows will even attack humans. Crows attacking students became such a big problem at Langara College in Vancouver that GIS instructors Jim O’Leary and Rick Davidson decided to create an interactive map that enables people to report locations where crows have attacked.

The CrowTrax map allows anyone to add a location where they have been attacked by a crow. So far the map has had thousands of locations added to the map. And not just in Vancouver. Crowtrax has been in operation for three years now. You can view the locations added to the map in previous years by selecting a year from the map menu.

This isn't the first time that Maps Mania has had to report on aggressive birds. For over six years the University of Waterloo's GooseWatch map has tracked the locations of all known nesting geese on the university's campus. The map also allows you to view the locations where geese have been known to nest in previous years.

The heart of the Goose Watch interactive map is the Brooding Goose Problem routing engine which helps students avoid the brooding (and sometimes aggressive) geese. The search engine even allows you to define how scared of geese you are - which it then takes into consideration when suggesting a safe route around the campus.