Many species rely on olfaction to navigate towards food sources or mates. Olfactory navigation is a challenging task since odor environments are typically turbulent. While time-averaged odor concentration varies smoothly with the distance to the source, instaneous concentrations are intermittent and obtaining stable averages takes longer than the typical intervals between animals’ navigation decisions. How to effectively sample from the odor distribution to determine sampling location is the focus on this article. To investigate which sampling strategies are most informative about the location of an odor source, we recorded three naturalistic stimuli with planar lased-induced fluorescence and used an information-theoretic approach to quantify the information that different sampling strategies provide about sampling location. Specifically, we compared multiple sampling strategies based on a fixed number of coding bits for encoding the olfactory stimulus. When the coding bits were all allocated to representing odor concentration at a single sensor, information rapidly saturated. Using the same number of coding bits in two sensors provides more information, as does coding multiple samples at different times. When accumulating multiple samples at a fixed location, the temporal sequence does not yield a large amount of information and can be averaged with minimal loss. Furthermore, we show that histogram-equalization is not the most efficient way to use coding bits when using the olfactory sample to determine location.

#### Fast Flow - average plume and snapshots

The file contains three data sets: "average", "snapshot_1" and "snapshot_2". The data corresponds to Fig.1 (A1-A3).

fastflow_snapshots.hdf5

#### Slow Flow - averaged plume and snapshots

The file contains three data sets: "average", "snapshot_1" and "snapshot_2". The data corresponds to Fig.1 (B1-B3).

slowflow_snapshots.hdf5

#### Boundary Flow - averaged plume and snapshots

The file contains three data sets: "average", "snapshot_1" and "snapshot_2". The data corresponds to Fig.1 (C1-C3).

boundaryflow_snapshots.hdf5

#### Fast Flow - narrowgrid, single sample

contains ("sample_0" - "sample_9") and correspond to 4 minute epochs of timeseries data.

fastflow_narrowgrid_single.hdf5

#### Fast Flow - narrowgrid, binaral transversal

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_9") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_9") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

fastflow_narrowgrid_binaral_transversal.hdf5

#### Fast Flow - narrowgrid, binaral longitudinal

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_9") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_9") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

fastflow_narrowgrid_binaral_longitudinal.hdf5

#### Fast Flow - widegrid, single sample

contains ("sample_0" - "sample_9") and correspond to 4 minute epochs of timeseries data.

fastflow_widegrid_single.hdf5

#### Fast Flow, widegrid, binaral transversal

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_9") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_9") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

fastflow_widegrid_binaral_transversal.hdf5

#### Fast Flow - widegrid, binaral longitudinal

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_9") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_9") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

fastflow_widegrid_binaral_longitudinal.hdf5

#### Slow Flow - narrowgrid, single sample

contains ("sample_0" - "sample_8") and correspond to 4 minute epochs of timeseries data.

slowflow_narrowgrid_single.hdf5

#### Slow Flow - widegrid, single sample

contains ("sample_0" - "sample_9") and correspond to 4 minute epochs of timeseries data.

slowflow_widegrid_single.hdf5

#### Slow Flow - narrowgrid, binaral longitudinal

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_8") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_8") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

slowflow_narrowgrid_binaral_longitudinal.hdf5

#### Slow Flow - narrowgrid, binaral transversal

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_8") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_8") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

slowflow_narrowgrid_binaral_transversal.hdf5

#### Slow Flow - widegrid, binaral longitudinal

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_8") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_8") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

slowflow_widegrid_binaral_longitudinal.hdf5

#### Slow Flow - widegrid, binaral transversal

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_8") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_8") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

slowflow_widegrid_binaral_transversal.hdf5

#### Boundary Flow - narrowgrid, single sample

contains ("sample_0" - "sample_9") and correspond to 4 minute epochs of timeseries data.

boundaryflow_narrowgrid_single.hdf5

#### Boundary Flow - widegrid, single sample

contains ("sample_0" - "sample_9") and correspond to 4 minute epochs of timeseries data.

boundaryflow_widegrid_binaral_single.hdf5

#### Boundary Flow - narrowgrid, binaral longitudinal

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_9") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_9") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

boundaryflow_narrowgrid_binaral_longitudinal.hdf5

#### Boundary Flow - narrowgrid, binaral transversal

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_9") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_9") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

boundaryflow_narrowgrid_binaral_transversal.hdf5

#### Boundary Flow - widegrid, binaral longitudinal

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_9") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_9") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

boundaryflow_widegrid_binaral_longitudinal.hdf5

#### Boundary Flow - widegrid, binaral transversal

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_9") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_9") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

boundaryflow_widegrid_binaral_transversal.hdf5

#### Boundary Flow - narrowgrid, binaral transversal (half spacing)

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_9") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_9") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

boundaryflow_narrowgrid_binaral_transversal_halfspacing.hdf5

#### Boundary Flow - widegrid, binaral transversal (double spacing)

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_9") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_9") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

boundaryflow_widegrid_binaral_transversal_doublespacing.hdf5

#### Boundary Flow - widegrid, binaral transversal (half spacing)

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_9") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_9") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

boundaryflow_widegrid_binaral_transversal_halfspacing.hdf5

#### Fast Flow - narrowgrid, binaral transversal (double spacing)

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_9") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_9") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

fastflow_narrowgrid_binaral_transversal_doublespacing.hdf5

#### Fast Flow - narrowgrid, binaral transversal (half spacing)

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_9") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_9") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

fastflow_narrowgrid_binaral_transversal_halfspacing.hdf5

#### Fast Flow - widegrid, binaral transversal (double spacing)

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_9") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_9") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

fastflow_widegrid_binaral_transversal_doublespacing.hdf5

#### Fast Flow - widegrid, binaral transversal (half spacing)

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_9") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_9") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

fastflow_widegrid_binaral_transversal_halfspacing.hdf5

#### Slow Flow - narrowgrid, binaral transversal (double spacing)

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_8") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_8") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

slowflow_narrowgrid_binaral_transversal_doublespacing.hdf5

#### Slow Flow - narrowgrid, binaral transversal (half spacing)

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_8") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_8") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

slowflow_narrowgrid_binaral_transversal_halfspacing.hdf5

#### Slow Flow - widegrid, binaral transversal (double spacing)

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_8") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_8") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

slowflow_widegrid_binaral_transversal_doublespacing.hdf5

#### Slow Flow - widegrid, binaral transversal (half spacing)

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_8") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_8") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

slowflow_widegrid_binaral_transversal_halfspacing.hdf5

#### Boundary Flow - narrowgrid, binaral transversal (double spacing)

contains ("sample_L_0" - "sample_L_9") and ("sample_R_0" - "sample_R_9") which correspond to 4 minute epochs at two locations (left and right).

boundaryflow_narrowgrid_binaral_transversal_doublespacing.hdf5