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Even though this app was designed to be intuitive, I recognize that some of it’s features may not be easy, or obvious, to take advantage of. This document is designed to help you make the most out of the application by covering its basic use, a few tips and tricks, and some solutions to frequently encountered issues.

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Choosing time, species, and platforms

This application is configured to allow you to either view data from a range of sequential years, or from a select number of sequential or non-sequential of specific years. This is achievable by selecting either ‘Specific years(s):’ or ‘Range of years:’ under the ‘Choose years’ input, then adjusting the date input or date slider accordingly.

You can then select a date window to view using the date range slider, a single species using the species dropdown, and any number of platforms by clicking or typing in the platforms dialogue.

Just remember to click ‘Go!’ when you’ve made the selections you want!

Centering the map

Clicking ‘Center map’ will cause the map view to adjust so that all the selected data are within the map boundaries. This is helpful to make sure you’re not missing any data within your selection criteria.

Map measurement tool

There’s a small icon in the bottom left of the screen, just above the scale bar, that provides access to a very helpful measurement tool. Simply scroll over the icon and click ‘Create new measurement’ to start using the tool. Then follow the instructions on the dialogue box to measure distances, calculate areas, or return coordinates to specific locations.

Changing marker colour

This is perhaps the most powerful feature of this entire application. By default, markers are coloured according to their ‘detection score’ (red = definite acoustic detection, yellow = possible acoustic detection, black = sighting), but this can be changed. You can use the ‘Color by:’ dropdown to choose which factor you would like to color the markers by. Want to see which sightings happened in each year? Set ‘Color by’ to year. Curious about how observations evolved over the season? Set ‘Color by’ to day of year. Want to compare observations made by different platforms (e.g. plane vs vessel vs glider vs opportunistic)? Set ‘Color by’ to platform. Easy!

Bonus: this will also change the plotting colors in the barplot, which can provide another angle with which to explore the survey data.

Using the barplot

The barplot, by default, plots a time series of only data that are within the map boundaries. As a result, you can easily subset the plotted data by simply ‘looking’ in a specific place. Want to see how all sightings evolved in Roseway Basin? Simply zoom to Roseway and check out the barplot.

If you’d like to turn off this behaviour, uncheck the box labelled ‘Only plot data within map bounds?’ at the bottom of the ‘Plot’ box. This causes the barplot to include all data plotted on the map, regardless of your map boundaries.

Notice that the colors of the barplot change in response to the ‘Color by:’ input, just like the map does. You can use this to gain more insights into the time series of observations (see above ‘Changing color markers’)

Lastly, be sure to take advantage of the interactivity of the barplot. Just like the map, scrolling over a particular datum reveals more information. This is expecially helpful in determining the dates of particular events, as the x axis scale is admittedly poor.

Using the ‘Currently Viewing’ pane

The ‘Currently Viewing’ pane is designed to give a quick summary of some potentially important information within the map boundaries that may not be particularly obvious. Right now it’s almost just a placeholder, but I can and will continue to add useful information.

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Common issues or questions

I can’t see the bar plot on my phone

The barplot is only generated, or useful, if the screen is of sufficient width to plot. Try rotating your phone sideways (e.g. landscape) to give it a little more space. Also, consider turning off the legend (uncheck the ‘Legend’ box in the ‘Customize Plots’ input box)

Data are not changing or updating

Did you press ‘Go!’? That’s the most common issue. Otherwise the problem may lie in an attempt to plot ‘too much’ data. Be patient, and perhaps try refreshing your browser and trying again.

What are those little icons on the map?

The icons on the map represent automous systems that are currently deployed and actively reporting near real-time acoustic detections. You can click on any icon to see more details. The positions of these icons update automatically after the shore-side analysist conducts their manual analysis of the incoming acoustic detections, so expect there to be some delay between these icons and reality.

Why do the tracklines disappear when I increase the time range I’d like to plot?

Tracklines require a lot of computing power to process and plot. For fear of causing your browser to crash, or overworking our server, I restricted trackline plotting to 150k points. This ought to be sufficient to view tracks over a large period of time without crashing your browser. If you have other suggestions for how to improve plotting efficiency, or would like me to produce a plot that exceeds these limits, please feel free to contact me.

Can I change the trackline colours?

Currently the answer is no. Trackline colors are platform-specific and hardwired to the following:

Plane - ‘green’
Vessel - ‘dark grey’
Slocum glider - ‘blue’
Wave glider - ‘purple’
Buoy/Other - ’black

If you would like to be able to adjust track colour, please consider a feature request (see Further information)

Where do you get this data?

Please check out the data documentation here.

Can I get access to this data?

Access to these data can only be provided by the data originators. You can track down each originator on the data documentation page here.

How do I request a feature be added to the map?

You can request a feature you would like to see added by either posting on the project’s ‘issues’ page or by sending an email to Hansen Johnson (

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Further information

If you have issues or features you would like to see added, consider adding it to the issues page here. Otherwise, feel free to email Hansen Johnson ( for any questions, suggestions, details, etc.

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