Spatial Orientation and Time: Methods

Orr Spiegel, Shay O’Farrell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Movement is a key aspect of behavior for non-sessile organisms, allowing them to acquire resources or avoid threats. Consequently, measuring and describing movement, and understanding its causes and consequences, is a major challenge in animal behavior, ecology and evolution. Recent technological developments (e.g., miniaturized GPS tags) provide a wealth of relocation data of unprecedented quality, often together with complementary information on the condition of focal individuals and their local environment. These massive datasets, in turn, have expedited development of novel analytical techniques that allow researchers to consider animal behavior in its spatial context at different scales. Here we review some of the main methods for obtaining movement data, analyzing animal trajectories and modeling their space use.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Animal Behavior, Second Edition
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1-5
ISBN (Electronic)9780128132524
ISBN (Print)9780128132517
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Dispersal
  • GPS telemetry
  • Geolocators
  • Home-range
  • Kernel density estimator (KDE)
  • Minimum convex polygon (MCP)
  • Movement ecology
  • Path annotation
  • Path segmentation
  • Radio frequency identification (RIFD)
  • Radio tracking
  • Step size distribution
  • Track geometry
  • Turning angles

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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