Kinematic interpolation of movement data

Jed Long

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Mobile tracking technologies are facilitating the collection of increasingly large and detailed data sets on object movement. Movement data are collected by recording an object’s location at discrete time intervals. Often, of interest is to estimate the unknown position of the object at unrecorded time points to increase the temporal resolution of the data, to correct erroneous or missing data points, or to match the recorded times between multiple data sets. Estimating an object’s unknown location between known locations is termed path interpolation. This paper introduces a new method for path interpolation termed kinematic interpolation. Kinematic interpolation incorporates object kinematics (i.e. velocity and acceleration) into the interpolation process. Six empirical data sets (two types of correlated random walks, caribou, cyclist, hurricane and athlete tracking data) are used to compare kinematic interpolation to other interpolation algorithms. Results showed kinematic interpolation to be a suitable interpolation method with fast-moving objects (e.g. the cyclist, hurricane and athlete tracking data), while other algorithms performed best with the correlated random walk and caribou data. Several issues associated with path interpolation tasks are discussed along with potential applications where kinematic interpolation can be useful. Finally, code for performing path interpolation is provided (for each method compared within) using the statistical software R.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)854-868
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science
Issue number5
Early online date17 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Spatio-temporal data modelling
  • Mobility
  • Mobile objects
  • Personal movement models
  • Spatio-temporal query


Dive into the research topics of 'Kinematic interpolation of movement data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this