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Animal Science

The Animal Science Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about scientific and technological topics related to pets, livestock, and other animals. See how cutting-edge advances help - or hinder - species around the world. SavvyExacta is a lifelong animal enthusiast with more than 20 years of experience with horses. Freckles (an English setter) is a frequent topic on the blog. Other CR4 bloggers occasionally add great posts.

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4 comments

Blogging Birds Share Data

Posted September 09, 2013 12:00 AM by SavvyExacta

The Blogging Birds are four red kites from Scotland. Wyvis, Moray, Millie, and Ussie regularly submit posts explaining where they've been and what they've been doing. You may be wondering how birds blog. To be fair, the birds aren't doing the writing, but GPS data is being used to explain the birds' movements. This article in The Chronicle of Education explains how it works.

Here's a snippet covering what Moray was up to from August 19 to August 25:

"Monday to Sunday Moray spent most of her time around Farraline and Errogie. During this time she was seen mainly on farmland while making odd journeys to heather. She must have been feasting on worms and insects which are in abundance in farmland. But what could she be looking for in heather?"

The article in The Chronicle gives another example of data narration. Oil platforms are heavily monitored and generate a lot of data. Natural-language generation can send a clear, easily understood message to the home office. The message explains what happened and how frequently, in words, rather than in data that must be analyzed.

Data narration might be a great tool for tracking released animals and helping the public to gain a better understanding of animals' movements. What do you think about data narration? How do you think it should be used, if at all?

Image Credit: snapshot from http://redkite.abdn.ac.uk/new/blog/

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Guru
Engineering Fields - Aerospace Engineering - Member United States - Member - Army Vet in the aviation industry

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#1

Re: Blogging Birds Share Data

09/10/2013 9:03 AM

I think it's great to be able to learn more and more about nature, to a level of detail never before possible to the general public.

But, I drawn the line when researchers or documenters start to ascribe human emotions or attributes to their study targets.

Hopefully that won't happen here. I quit watching the Animal Planet channel because of this practice.

Hooker

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Guru

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: Blogging Birds Share Data

09/10/2013 4:07 PM

Yeah and the guilt trip that sadly you are destroying their habitat somehow....

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Guru

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#2

Re: Blogging Birds Share Data

09/10/2013 1:02 PM

I suspect a bird blogging would go a bit like this.

'Squawk. Peck peck peck. Squawk, scratch, peck peck peck. Poop, scratch peck peck.'

Which to me sounds like normal Facebook blogging events if I ever read one.

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Guru
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#3

Re: Blogging Birds Share Data

09/10/2013 3:48 PM

It might be more interesting if done for ugly creatures/abandoned animals/animals that are factory farmed.

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