Thoughts on “Miller et. al – Towards an integrated science of movement”

“Towards an integrated science of movement” by Miller et. al lays out the advances that have been made in the understanding of mobility and movement as a whole given the growth of location-aware technologies, which have provided much more accessible data acquisition. They are interested in synergizing the components of animal movement ecology and human mobility science to promote a science of movement.

In regards to mobile entities that are defined as “individually identifiable things that can change their location frequently with respect to time”, are there specific definitions that clearly define what “frequently in time” means? Examples have been made with birds or humans, but would trees or continental masses be considered mobiles entities as well?

It would be interesting to assess the impact of tracking location on the observations, in other words if tracking can affect the decisions made by whoever or whatever is being tracked. For example, a human who knows they are being tracked might change their trajectory solely based on the fact they do not want to potentially compromise sensitive areas or locations they visit, while an animal could behave differently if the technology used to track its movement make it more visible to predators. There is an ethical dilemma in tracking a human being without their consent, but it must be acknowledged that tracking does come with some consequences in terms of results differing from reality.

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