“GPGPU Acceleration of Environmental and Movement Datasets” by Bird and Laycock

  • ©Daniel Bird and Stephen Laycock


Entry Number: 41


    GPGPU Acceleration of Environmental and Movement Datasets



    Due to the increased availability and accuracy of GPS sensors, the field of movement ecology has been able to benefit from larger datasets of movement data. As miniaturisation and the efficiency of electronic components have improved, additional sensors have been coupled with GPS tracking to enable features related to the animal’s state at a given position to be recorded. This capability is especially relevant to understand how environmental conditions may affect movement.

    Surveys that have been conducted in the field of visualisation for movement ecology have highlighted that tool-sets investigating movement within context are important [Andrienko and Andrienko 2013; Demšar et al. 2015]. Investigating movement within context allows for possible inference on why and where movement takes place [Nathan et al. 2008]. Due to the exceptionally large size of global datasets, visualisations are often calculated for a local area, which is viable for studies that only remain within a local area, but for large scale movement, such as migratory movement, it is more difficult. For example, [Gilbert et al. 2016] studied the migratory pattern of white storks, that migrate from Portugal to Morocco, to observe the effects of environmental factors, such as vegetation and land use.


    • Natalia Andrienko and Gennady Andrienko. 2013. Visual analytics of movement: An overview of methods, tools and procedures. , 3–24 pages. https://doi.org/10.1177/1473871612457601
    • Urška Demšar, Kevin Buchin, Francesca Cagnacci, Kamran Safi, Bettina Speckmann, Nico de Weghe, Daniel Weiskopf, and Robert Weibel. 2015. Analysis and visualization of movement: an interdisciplinary review. Movement Ecology 3, 1 (mar 2015), 5. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40462-015-0032-y
    • Nathalie I. Gilbert, Ricardo A. Correia, João Paulo Silva, Carlos Pacheco, Inês Catry, Philip W. Atkinson, Jenny A. Gill, and Aldina M. A. Franco. 2016. Are white storks addicted to junk food? Impacts of landfill use on the movement and behaviour of resident white storks (Ciconia ciconia) from a partially migratory population. Movement Ecology 4, 1 (dec 2016), 7. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40462-016-0070-0
    • Ran Nathan, Wayne M Getz, Eloy Revilla, Marcel Holyoak, Ronen Kadmon, David Saltz, and Peter E Smouse. 2008. A movement ecology paradigm for unifying organismal movement research. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 105, 49 (dec 2008), 19052–9. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0800375105



    We gratefully acknowledge the support of NVIDIA Corporation with the donation of the Titan Xp GPU used for this research. We would also like to thank Dr Aldina Franco for supplying the GPS data for the White Storks [Gilbert et al. 2016] and the discussions on the research.