About the Data Centre

About the OTN Data Centre


Registering your project with the Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) connects you and your research to a global community of telemetrists. There are many benefits of using the OTN Data Centre (OTNDC):


  • Your data will be cross-referenced with all OTN-held data
  • OTN’s data experts will work with you to make your data available in a wide range of formats
  • OTN tools let you filter, compress, visualize and analyze acoustic detection extracts from OTN as well as other marine telemetry data
  • Data is quality controlled and assured
  • Data is housed in an internationally recognized secure storage system
  • OTN collaborates with other telemetry networks to integrate global data holdings,  provide single entry points into the global data system, and to help researchers find data pertaining to their animals

Oceanographic data

Oceanographic observations, whether or not they are captured on OTN-funded equipment, are submitted directly to the appropriate International Ocean Data Exchange (IODE) National Oceanographic Data Centre (NODC) for storage and curation—in real-time if feasible. These internationally linked centres are the globally agreed-upon repositories for such data. OTNDC staff and their collaborators have developed a number of tools to analyze animal movement data, assist in curation and quality control, streamline visualization and animation, as well as leverage international environmental data systems to overlay oceanographic data with animal movement information.


OTN data policy

As the global scientific community embraces open data, researchers and funding bodies want to ensure that data collected in the course of a publicly or federally funded study or research program are made available to the public—as soon as is reasonable—to maximize the utility and benefits of those data.

OTN’s data policy is designed to balance the utility of data sharing—both within the acoustic telemetry community and with the broader public—against the potential real and practical concerns of sharing very sensitive ecological information.

To protect these data and the animals they come from, and allow researchers time to complete their work, OTN has developed a comprehensive data policy that adheres to international standards of data sharing and aquatic telemetry data reporting. This policy,  coupled with the capabilities of our information systems, allows us to create  a secure tag-based embargo on all animal morphology and tag detection dates—typically for two years after the expiry of the battery of the electronic tag.

This process ensures there is an eventual pathway for the information to be shared publicly through OTN’s data portal and global biogeographic databases such as the Ocean Biodiversity Information System (OBIS), while protecting vulnerable animals and allowing students and scientists to complete the publication of their research prior to the data being released.

Data management

Your data will be cross-referenced, quality controlled, and made available to you in a wide range of formats for analysis and visualization within the OTN database.

OTN collaborators are part of a global community of researchers that are developing a comprehensive examination of aquatic life and ocean conditions. This information is critical for decision makers developing sustainable management plans and policies in changing global environments.

See all data resources here

OTN connects you and your research to a global community of telemetrists. As an OTN collaborator, your data will be cross-referenced, quality controlled, securely stored and made available to you in a wide range of formats for analysis and visualization.

The OTN International Data Management Committee, composed of data scientists and marine policy experts from North America, Australia, Europe, Africa and South America, provides oversight to ensure that the OTN data management model continues to be relevant to the needs and timelines of our global communities and is implemented and operated reliably and efficiently.


Using the OTNDC


Join researchers in your region and around the world in developing a comprehensive network of telemetrists. Researchers can join the Network by submitting their project information and data.

 A Git repository containing an R package with a complementary suite of telemetry data analysis tools being primarily developed at the Great Lakes Animal Telemetry Observation System. Videos of previous OTN workshops using this material are available on OTN’s YouTube.

General inquiries
+1 902 494 4101

Data Centre

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