Monday, August 13, 2018

An Animated Shark Tracking Map - How Far Do Sharks Roam?

Years ago I included a shark tracking Google Earth layer in my workshop about Google Earth. It provided a good example of how Google Earth can be used in science classes. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find that file for a couple of years now and even if I did find the data is outdated now. That's why I was excited when I saw the Maps Mania blog post a link to a new shark tracking map.

The Global Fishing Watch map includes an animated layer that displays the movement of tagged sharks off of the east coast of the United States. The map contains records for 45 tagged sharks. You can find shark tracks by clicking on one of the small placemarkers on the map. When you select a shark you will see the entire path of travel for that shark. The timeline slider at the bottom of the map lets you select a timespan for the tracking of the shark. The play button on the timeline will replay the travel of the shark in the Atlantic ocean.

Applications for Education
The Global Fishing Watch map of tagged sharks could be great for showing students how far a shark will travel in a typical year and or over the course of its lifetime. The map itself doesn't display the distance the sharks travel. To figure out the actual distance you will need to copy the coordinates of a shark's locations into Google Earth (web or desktop version will work) and then measure the distance traveled.