We are glad to announce that Firetail 12 is now available.

What’s new?

Revised annotation module – local file annotation

Annotating of acceleration, magnetometer and gyroscopic data in Firetail is now possible. In previous versions the annotated data sets had to be loaded from the Movebank API interface. Now, you can open your tag data from the local harddrive, enable annotations and and start to assign categories to the burst-level data.

This is a great advantage for all projects that cannot use Movebank due to data embargos or other reasons. Also, this avoids the requirement to up- and redownload your data.

Of course, FireSOM, our semi-automated annotation algorithm for burst data is on-board as well. Once abstract categories are assigned to your data, you can match them to your ethogram using available contexts and finally save the assignments alongside the model.

Forgot to check to save the model during training?

Firetail will now resort to an auto-save model and preserve your changes. You can later on apply the model to other datasets and all mappings will be applied as well.

To inspect ground truth sources with your data, overlay video annotation and/or other external annotations and show them side-by-side.

Visuals for Annotation Categories and Points of Interest

Coloring tracks by annotation or event data is now cleaner, with semi-transparent, colored overlays and sufficiently large to interpret on high-resolution screens. Plus, you can now use a simple feature format to show and color custom points of interest on the map.

Dust off your Vectronic Acceleration Data

What we heard a lot from Vectronic projects:

Yeah, our tags have recorded years worth of high-res acceleration data, but analysis was really out of scope

Now, Firetail can convert the folders exported by Vectronic’s Motion Data Monitor and provides burst-like formats suitable for Firetail as well as for Movebank uploads. This way you can enrich your high-quality GPS data with high-res acceleration data and enable behavioral annotation!

Fast, interactive convex hull

With a single click you can now enable a convex hull view. The all-time classic will be shown in colors for each grouping and also respect the visible track interval selected contexts if required (1 minute to 90 days).

Movebank downloads

We improved readbility for Movebank projects and included deployment times for each project. Great for filtering for current projects. Also, large downloads are now much less likely to run into timeouts for slower connections.

Outlier filter

We added an option to filter outliers not only via Movebank annotation, but also by checking for reachability given a custom maximum speed for the observed animal. Quite efficient when working with raw data.

New sensors for marine species

Marine species projects approaching!

Firetail can now show light, external temperature and barometric types.


In case you have not tested those, the live-boxplots are amazing. In general, the QuickFacts module provides on-the-fly statistics and boxplots. Data is sorted in a set of several ‘buckets’ (intervals) by looking back from the currently selected timestamps. The most recent bucket is then compared to the ‘history’ in terms of median speed and distance traveled. To get an idea if the offset is expected a Wilcoxon z-score is provided as well (positive: higher than previous observations, negative: lower than previous observations).


We added experimental support for GeoJson files like the ones from the earthquake.usgs.gov feed.
The great thing about this: it’s time-resolved events. They will show in sync with your data when the events occur.
That means you can interpret animal behaviour in the context of current events, like earthquakes.

AWT, Telonics, TechnoSmart and more

We received a lot of sample data from our users (thank you! you’re the best) that helped us to improve format support and cover more native vendor formats. If in doubt, try your data using the Free Edition and complain if it fails. It’s often a matter of days to add appropriate support and provide a test release.

Lower entry-level prices

Entry-level prices are now lower and we introduced reliable benefits for loyal customers.
This helps us to avoid weird price jumps created by short-term vouchers, conference specials and related. For you that means you have predictable prices to include in grant applications, forward to funding, and administration.

Assorted changes

The manual for Firetail 12 has been overhauled quite a bit.

You can now right-click in the map viewport and quickly copy these coordinates. It’s trivial, but we love it.

Not new: loading movebank accessory data is done automatically when available.
New: It is shown as a separate grouping in the ‘Open Files’ tree view.
Also new: projects that consist of only accessory data can now be shown (some acceleration formats)

To avoid a source of confusion in some cases, Firetail will now read ‘.gps’ files as Movebank type.

The new contrast layer may help to improve the visiblity of tracks.

To avoid running into expired licenses — which we typically handle unbureaucratically anyways for those in need 🙂 — we now added some reminders some 30 days before you run into problems.

And finally, we also had some time left to revise our tooltips.


Have fun experimenting with the new features and stay curious!