Mapping Movements – The Art and the Science: we have the winners!

We all love to look at maps of animal movements, but producing good maps is challenging However, thanks to rapid developments in the software and methods for producing maps, there are now many options for mapping animal movements – likely more than anyone among us is aware of! Thus, our aim was to launch a competition to attract contributions from a broad range of fields, to facilitate knowledge exchange. 

Maps can be produced for different purposes, so we asked for contributions to 4 different categories – the pretty one (the most beautiful/artistic map); the nerdy one (the map displaying the most technically challenging/smart solution/approach); the dynamic one (the best dynamic map of animal movements); and the RMap one (the best map produced entirely using R, with complete reproducible code). 

Certainly the competition was a success, as we received 42 amazing contributions across the four categories (10 ‘pretty’ maps; 8 ‘nerdy’ maps; 18 ‘dynamic’ maps, and 4 ‘RMaps’) from 30 international research institutions, and 505 people cast their vote! The MoveSIG Committee also voted and we now are delighted to announce the winners of our first, annual MoveMap competition!

The winners will each be invited to write a blog post on the blog for the journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution (for the RMap and Dynamic category winners) or the Journal of Animal Ecology (for the Pretty and Nerdy category winners) – stay tuned!

Pretty Category

Pretty Category Winner:

How the Identification of Communication Hubs Helps to Solve Cheetah-Farmer Conflicts in Namibia

by Cédric Scherer & Joerg Melzheimer (IZW Berlin)

Pretty Category Joint Runner-up:

Reindeer movement flows

by Manuela Panzacchi

Pretty Category Joint Runner-up:

NINA & Multi-species bird UvA BiTS tracks

by Willem Bouten

Pretty Category Honorary Mention:

Asian Houbara mortality locations

by Daniel Salliss & John Burnside, University of East Anglia.

Nerdy Category

Nerdy Category Winner:

Moving though the Arctic – Pectoral sandpipers in the wind

by Johannes Krietsch, Max Planck Ornithology.

Nerdy Category Runner-up:


Baboon raiders

by Gaelle Fehlmann & Andrew King et al., Swansea University

Nerdy Category Honorary Mention:

Blue whale locations with cross filters

by Ben Letcher, SHEDS.

RMap Category

RMap Category Winner:

Elephant movements across thermal landscapes

by Pratik Gupte, University of Groningen.

RMap Category Runner-up:

How the Identification of Communication Hubs Helps to Solve Cheetah-Farmer Conflicts in Namibia

by Cédric Scherer & Joerg Melzheimer (IZW Berlin)

RMap Category Honorary Mention:

King cobra movements

by Ben Marshall, Suranaree University of Technology & Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.

Dynamic Category

Dynamic Category Winner:

Bar-tailed godwit migration

by Simeon Lisovski, AWI Medien.

Dynamic Category Runner-up:

Nashville warbler continental migrations

by eBird, Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Dynamic Category Honorary Mention:

3D puma tracking

by Carrie Dunford, Santa Cruz Puma Project.

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Published by besmovesig

The Movement Ecology group wants to provide a platform for facilitating exchange and collaborations in this wide-ranging, cross-disciplinary field of research. Our aims are to: 1. Act as a central forum to unite researchers and help clarify conceptual and methodological misconceptions. 2. Attract new Movement Ecology researchers. 3. Guide the development of novel research, especially interdisciplinary research combining technical, computational, and theoretical developments to obtain a refined understanding of the role of organism movements in driving ecological processes.

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