Spatial summary: Aug. 2012–Jul. 2014

I have just completed two years of carefully tracking the specific locations at the Noble Research Center where I have found dead or trapped birds. To analyze those data statistically, I digitized the perimeter of the NRC in Google Earth and measured the apparent length of each segment (defining a segment as a straight line at least 2m in length). I identified 59 such segments for the NRC from a total apparent perimeter length of 847m. That’s right, the perimeter of that building is nearly 1 km long.

Next, I characterized segments according to whether or not they formed the terminus of one of the “alcoves”, which I defined as a recessed facade bordered by two segments of at least 4m oriented at right angles to the facade. So the question was, were more birds likely to be trapped and killed in alcoves than at random segments?

Predictably, that answer was “yes”: Birds were 49 times more likely to show up dead or trapped at alcove segments than at other segments along the 847m perimeter of the NRC.

The question now is “What’s the best way to represent these data graphically?” I like the idea of a map showing exactly where birds ended up – if you visit here regularly, you see those little red or blue dots overlain on a map of the building every time I find a bird there and report it here. Are those red and blue dots the best way to go for a two-year summary or does a numeric representation convey the information better? Please check out these images and use the comments feature to let me know which one you find to be more effective. Thanks!

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