Mathieu Basille
Clément Calenge
Jodie Martin
Bram van Moorter
Vincent Tolon
Training courses

PostGIS workshop: Next Generation Data Management in Movement Ecology

Table of contents

This page is about the 2016 PostGIS workshop, which took place in June 2016!


Roe deer


Roe deer

Recent technological progress has allowed ecologists to obtain a huge amount and diversity of animal movement data sets of increasing spatial and temporal resolution and size, together with complex associated information related to the environmental context, such as habitat types based on remote sensing, population density, and weather. Based on several years of experience on multiple species, this intensive five-day workshop is designed to teach participants how to handle, manage, store and retrieve movement data in a spatial database, and how to eventually feed them to analysis tools.

In the first part of the course, participants will be exposed to basics of spatial databases for wildlife tracking data, using PostgreSQL/PostGIS, the reference free and open-source database system. The second part will focus on the integration of environmental data in the process. The third part will tackle the specifics of movement data, and how to connect the database to the R statistical environment for analysis. Step by step, using reproducible, hands-on exercises that will be released on-line, we will provide a complete and seamless procedure from raw data to final analysis that will enable participants to fully manage and integrate complex animal movement data sets.

Although the workshop is intended for a wide audience, basic knowledge of SQL, spatial databases and R are highly recommended to get the best experience.

Before the workshop

Field trip


On the Saturday following the course (June 11), we will be offering a field trip to Everglades National Park (ENP). We'll start at the main entrance (Homestead) and work our way all the way down to Florida Bay, stopping at popular destinations including Anhinga Trail, Pa Hay Okee overlook, and Flamingo. We'll get to see the diversity of habitats within ENP, from the classic "river of grass" slough system, to the globally imperiled pine rockland ecosystem, all the way down to the largest mangrove forest in the western hemisphere. We will likely see American alligators, American crocodiles, wading birds, shore birds, and even the elusive MOSQUITO. If we're lucky, we might even see manatees and dolphins in Florida Bay!

Because we'll be there during the daylight hours, the mosquitoes shouldn't be too bad. All the same, to avoid both the mosquitoes and the tropical summer sun, we recommend light-weight long pants, long sleeves, a hat, and bug spray. You might also want to bring binoculars, your camera, a water bottle, and some snacks.

We will leave from FLREC around 7AM to allow for a full exploration of ENP, and return to the Center between 3PM and 4PM.


Urbano, F. & Cagnacci, F. (ed.) (2014) Spatial Database for GPS Wildlife Tracking Data: A Practical Guide to Creating a Data Management System with PostgreSQL/PostGIS and R. Springer, 257 pp. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-03743-1

[last update: 2017/06/16]