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How fast is a cow? Cross-scale analysis of movement data


Laube, Patrick; Purves, Ross S (2011). How fast is a cow? Cross-scale analysis of movement data. Transactions in GIS, 15(3):401-418.

Abstract

Data representing the trajectories of moving point objects are becoming increasingly ubiquitous in GIScience, and are the focus of much methodological research aimed at extracting patterns and meaning describing the underlying phenomena. However, current research within GIScience in this area has largely ignored issues related to scale and granularity – in other words how much are the patterns that we see a function of the size of the looking glass that we apply? In this article we investigate the implications of varying the temporal scale at which three movement parameters, speed, sinuosity and turning angle are derived, and explore the relationship between this temporal scale and uncertainty in the individual data points making up a trajectory. A very rich dataset, representing the movement of 10 cows over some two days every 0.25 s is investigated. Our cross-scale analysis shows firstly, that movement parameters for all 10 cows are broadly similar over a range of scales when the data are segmented to remove quasi-static subtrajectories. However, by exploring realistic values of GPS uncertainty using Monte Carlo Simulation, it becomes apparent that fine scale measurement of all movement parameters is masked by uncertainties, and that we can only make meaningful statements about movement when we take these uncertainties into account.

Abstract

Data representing the trajectories of moving point objects are becoming increasingly ubiquitous in GIScience, and are the focus of much methodological research aimed at extracting patterns and meaning describing the underlying phenomena. However, current research within GIScience in this area has largely ignored issues related to scale and granularity – in other words how much are the patterns that we see a function of the size of the looking glass that we apply? In this article we investigate the implications of varying the temporal scale at which three movement parameters, speed, sinuosity and turning angle are derived, and explore the relationship between this temporal scale and uncertainty in the individual data points making up a trajectory. A very rich dataset, representing the movement of 10 cows over some two days every 0.25 s is investigated. Our cross-scale analysis shows firstly, that movement parameters for all 10 cows are broadly similar over a range of scales when the data are segmented to remove quasi-static subtrajectories. However, by exploring realistic values of GPS uncertainty using Monte Carlo Simulation, it becomes apparent that fine scale measurement of all movement parameters is masked by uncertainties, and that we can only make meaningful statements about movement when we take these uncertainties into account.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:23 Dec 2011 08:17
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:14
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1361-1682
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9671.2011.01256.x

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