OTN and partner nodes cross 300 million animal detections in 2020

by | Dec 16, 2020 | News

The Data Centre (OTNDC) recently completed a data push, bringing the total number of animal detections managed by OTN and compatible nodes to more than 300 million!

With so many telemetry practitioners reporting their data to OTN and its partners—currently and historically—millions of animal detections are being matched to their tag owners. These include previously unresolved tags that OTN does not have metadata on that are detected within OTN’s system (or “mystery tags”).

New collaborations are being formed by those tagging animals and operating receivers in every corner of the ocean and creating connections across OTN’s global network.

  • The OTN Global Data Node alone has crossed 200 million animal detections
  • There are nearly 10,000 active tags across all OTN compatible nodes
  • 75,000 individual animals have been tracked over the last 20 years

View all projects that are part of OTN’s global network in the data warehouse here.

What is a data push?

To create meaningful detection extracts, the OTNDC and affiliated nodes perform cross-matching events every few months. This allows researchers to submit records and have detections returned multiple times per year. During the data push process, OTN’s databases are backed up, the website is updated, and detection matches are released to all relevant projects.

Steps of a push:

  1. Project record processing – quality control checks which look for incomplete records, consistency, overlaps, typos etc.
  2. Whole node verification – all records are double-checked for any conflicts, both within a project, and between projects.
  3. Detection matching – tag records are matched to receiver detection data.
  4. Detection extracts – detections are summarized and shared with both tag and receiver owners.
  5. Data backed up – a secure copy of all data is created.
  6. Pushed to production server – data is promoted to the final level, where data products such as the OTN geoserver layer are created.
  7. Post processing – publicly facing data is checked for accuracy before release.

Data cutoffs

The OTNDC selects key times throughout the year to pause new record submissions and focus on reporting data to OTN researchers and partners through a data push. The most recent data push occurred in November 2020.

The cutoff date for the next data push is March 17, 2021. Any records received after the cutoff date will be processed immediately after the March push and will be included in the following push (July 2021).

To submit your data, upload to your project repository or email: otndc@dal.ca.

Cross node matching

OTN partners with several acoustic telemetry networks around the world, who work in concert to maintain inter-compatible data nodes. This allows detections of tags to be matched across all nodes and increases the likelihood that researchers will receive the detections of their tagged animals. Since the nodes are created and managed in the same way, researchers only need to submit their project records to one node to receive detections from all nodes.