The following is a brief overview of how to use the WhaleMap shiny app to customize the display of survey data. If you have further questions or requests, please submit a GitHub issue or emailed Hansen directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Large whale surveys typically include observation and effort data. Observations provide information about the occurrence of a given species at a particular time and location. These observations can be obtained visually (i.e., a whale is seen at the surface by an observer) and/or acoustically (i.e., a whale call is detected on an underwater microphone). Observations appear as circles on WhaleMap.
Effort data provide information on the time and location where whale surveys were conducted. This information is extremely important for interpreting patterns in whale observations. For example, areas with no survey effort likely have little or no information on whale presence.
All the inputs are selected using the small column on the left side of the application. By default, the application shows the “Data” tab. This tab includes filters that allow you to select the Date, Platform, Species, Data sources, and Data layers. Once the desired filters are selected, click the Go button on the bottom left of the screen to update the display. More information on each filter are provided below:
Choose the time range of the data to be displayed. There are 3
options here. You can select a
Specific date, an inclusive
Date range, or a
Range among years. The latter
is useful for comparing a small time range (i.e., 1 month) over several
years. Use the radio buttons to choose which filter you would like to
use, then use the date picker or slider to configure desired the date
Here “platform” essentially refers to the type of vehicle that was used to perform the survey.
Plane: aerial visual survey using a piloted aircraft with human observers
Vessel: shipboard visual survey
RPAS: aerial survey using a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS)
Opportunistic: verified sighting report, typically not from a dedicated whale survey
Slocum Glider: acoustic survey using an autonomous vehicle known as a Slocum glider
Buoy: acoustic survey using an autonomous moored buoy
Choose to display observations of the following species:
Choose from the following data sources:
Choose to display
Possible observations, and/or
Definite observations. Both observations and effort are
defined in more detail above.
Definite observations are
those in which the species identity could be confidently determined,
Possible observations indicate some uncertainty in
the species identity.
Note - Effort is automatically switched off if the number of data points requested exceeds the maximum threshold. This is accompanied by a warning message.
Data contributors and managers may enter a password here to reveal unverified observations.
Observations and effort data can be colored by different variables to
improve visualization. This is achieved by clicking on the
Colors tab at the top left of the application.
By default, the observations are colored by
the default color map. Use the dropdown menus to select the variable and
color palette to use. Don’t foreget to click Go when
you’re done to update the display.
Effort data can also be color-coded according to different variables. As with observations, use the variable and color palette to use.
Pro tip - If it starts looking messy, try switching to a different basemap (see below - grey often works well)
Click on the
Layers tab at the top left of the
application to customize the appearance of the map and the data layers
that are displayed.
Choose basemap: dropdown menu to select the
background you would like. Remember to click
Go in the
bottom left to plot the new map.