TrackLab - How does it work?

TrackLab will aid you in the complete process of your work on spatial behavior. After you decide on the most suitable tracking technology, TrackLab lets you import the collected tracking data in real-time or offline. The collected data can be visualized, processed and analyzed. Furthermore, you can create interactive systems that respond in real-time to the location or spatial behavior of subjects being tracked.

Collecting data

Collecting location and movement data can be done in numerous ways. Every study and every application requires varying technical solutions. TrackLab is a flexible software tool that can handle input from different tracking technologies:

  • Outdoor - Outdoor tracking can be done in urban environments, agricultural fields or in nature. The most common tracking method for outdoor studies is GPS, although other tracking systems can be used as well. TrackLab supports any type of GPS receiver, taking advantage of data augmentation services (such as WAAS, EGNOS or PPP) if available. These systems offer you real-time or off-line information on the location and movement of your test subjects.
  • Indoor - Indoor tracking can be applied in settings ranging from a controlled laboratory to a real-life environment, from consumers in a supermarket to cattle in a farm. TrackLab supports a wide variety of indoor tracking solutions, including Ubisense™ ultra-wideband sensors and tags, EagleEye™ stereo cameras, and our vision-based PeopleTracker™. Functionality differs strongly between tracking systems; some systems need tags or markers while others do not, some systems work real-time while others work off-line. The best set-up depends on the study being conducted and we are happy to advise you regarding the ideal solution to your application.

Remote control 

For real-time tracking systems, you can start and stop tracking remotely using an app on an Android tablet or smartphone. Tracklab can also be controlled through a command line interface, which is ideal for scheduling long reading tasks with Tracklab, for example.

Android app
You can start and stop tracking remotely using an app on an Android tablet or smartphone.
cows tracking
Outdoor tracking can be done in agricultural fields.

Importing and visualizing data

TrackLab allows you to import location data in real-time and offline, depending on the tracking technology and the layout of your data. Once data has been collected, tracks can be visualized on a map within the software, both bitmaps (e.g. floor plan of a building) and geographical maps (OpenStreetMap). The software allows you to visualize tracks of multiple objects simultaneously. Visualizations include various trajectory styles and heatmaps. Furthermore the software offers track smoothing and can automatically remove outliers, improving the quality and reliability of your data.

User-defined regions and classifiers

Within TrackLab you can define regions of interest, to compute zone-related statistics or to automatically detect when a subject enters or leaves a specific zone. Regions of interest can easily be copied between projects. Besides detecting spatial events movement classifiers can be defined, e.g. to automatically label behavior as standing still, walking and running based upon the speed of the subject.

Real time feedback

Events related to zone-related behavior or user-defined movement classes can be saved in a log file or sent out in real-time, for example to a smartphone. This real-time feedback allows you to directly gain insight in the location and movement of the test subjects, furthermore it allows you to use this information as input for external applications. You can for example present stimuli or trigger events based on the location and movement of your test subject.

Analysis

TrackLab provides you with a very wide range of relevant statistics for analysis of location and movement, including various speed and distance variables. All statistics can be calculated for complete tracks or for specific zones, time intervals or movement classes. You can even create analysis selections where you combine different criteria, for example from ten minutes after the track starts until the subject starts drinking.This gives a lot of power for complex analysis of the data.

The analysis parameters include distance and time (distance moved, speed), location (time in zone, distance to point), path shape (relative and absolute heading, turn angle, meander) and movement behavior (speed based classification). For all the parameters, the average, maximum and minimum values are given. Over 50 parameters are calculated for each track and interval.