Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tracking Bears with Google Maps

The Foothills Research Institute has developed a great application to visualise GPS tracks with Google Maps. The application was developed in order to be able to visualise the movements and environments of two GPS-collared grizzly bears.

The application uses an ArcGIS Python script tool to parse raw GPS text files into a list of coordinates and the new Google Maps API Symbols and HeatMap layer to animate and visualise the GPS data on a Google Map.

The Foothills Research Institute can't reveal the real position of the bears so they have created a nice demo of the application using fake randomised data for two different bears. The Fake Bear Tracker Map uses an animated symbol for each logged location and, as the application progresses, uses a heat map layer to display the areas visited by each bear.

The result is a very effective visualisation of the bears' movements and of their territorial range.   

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