The development of OzTrack is well under way.
At this stage of the project it is valuable to sit-back and consider the overall purpose of the project. Is it achieving the objectives Matt Watts and I (Dr Hamish Campbell) envisaged those many moons ago. Those were: 1/ provide researchers with the necessary analytical tools; 2/ standardise the cataloging and analysis procedure; and 3/ create a data repository with open access.
Essentially, OzTrack enables biologists and wildlife managers to analyse their data to a capacity, which for many, may be beyond their technical means.
A goal of OzTrack was to become a repository where by researchers, wildlife managers and policy makers could search through to find animal movement information from throughout Australasia.
Even though OzTrack is still in its infancy there are already a number of users. It is hoped that as the OzTrack community grows, researchers will perceive the benefits of data-sharing both for themselves and for Australian wildlife management and conservation.
As much as 95 % of the animal telemetry data collected in Australia over the past decade is stored on personal hard-drives. It it thus, inaccessible to the wider scientific community and redundant. I foresee OzTrack as a game changer in the field.
OzTrack is more than fulfilling its initial objectives. The software engineer (Charles Brooking) and the R-tools spatial analyst (Ross Dwyer) have taken our original vision and created something of profound significance for the Australian ecological community.