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MoveTK: the movement toolkit

MoveTK-CI-Ubuntu MoveTK-CI-macOS MoveTK-CI-Windows MoveTK-create-docker-image

MoveTK is a library for computational movement analysis written in C++. The library has been developed as part of a collaboration between HERE Technologies , Eindhoven University of Technology and Utrecht University under the Commit2Data program.


MoveTK is a reusable, well tested, high performant, feature-rich library that incorporates state of the art algorithms for understanding movement. The library is designed to be extensible such that it can be adapted to various movement analysis tasks. It's design is inspired by the designs of CGAL and GUDHI.

You can use this library to:

  • Develop applications for processing (geo) spatial movement data at scale
  • Create high performance applications for analysis of movement data, using the algorithms available in the library

Some examples are shown below:


The following table lists some of the algorithms available in MoveTK

Feature Algorithm
Trajectory Segmentation Monotone Segmentation [Buchin et al. 2011, Alewijnse et al. 2014]
Model Based Segmentation [Alewijnse et al. 2018]
Trajectory Simplification Douglas-Peucker Simplification [Hershberger et al. 1992,1998]
Imai-Iri Simplification [Chan et al. 1996]
Agarwal Simplification [Agarwal et al. 2005]
Trajectory Similarity Longest Common Subsequence [Vlachos et al. 2002]
Hausdorff & Fréchet Metric [Eiter et al. 1994, Alt et al. 1995]
Trajectory Outlier Detection Optimal Speed Bounded [Custers et al. 2019]
Greedy / Smart Greedy / Local Greedy [Custers et al. 2019]
Trajectory Clustering Sub-trajectory Clustering [Buchin et al. 2008]
Trajectory Interpolation Kinematic Interpolation [Long 2016]
Random Trajectory Generator [Technitis et al. 2015]

Supported compilers

MoveTK has been tested with

  • MSVC 14.29.30133 (VS2019)
  • GCC 11.3.0

Building MoveTK

MoveTK uses the well-established build tool CMake for generating its build files for different generators and OSes. To download and build MoveTK, follow the below steps:

  1. Clone the repository in your desired directory, let this directory be <movetk_root>
git clone --recursive
  1. Install the dependencies of MoveTK. The following strategies are supported:
Installing dependencies via apt (Ubuntu 22.04) For Ubuntu, install the following packages using apt
sudo apt install libboost-all-dev libgsl-dev libgslcblas0 gsl-bin libgsl27 

For building the documentation, you also need Doxygen

sudo apt install doxygen

For the CGAL backend, you also need the following dependencies

sudo apt install libmpfr-dev libcgal-dev
Installing dependencies via vcpkg (Windows/Linux)

MoveTK provides a vcpkg.json manifest file for use with vcpkg. To install the dependencies, you can either let vcpkg handle it during the CMake generation step in Step 3., or directly call the following inside <movetk_root>:

vcpkg.exe install 

During the CMake generation step in Step 3, you need to add -DCMAKE_TOOLCHAIN_FILE=<vcpkg_root>/scripts/buildsystems/vcpkg.cmake to the CMake command line arguments, where <vcpkg_root> is the root of your vcpkg installation.

Installing dependencies via conan (Windows/Linux)

MoveTK also provides a conanfile.txt to install its dependencies using Conan. For this, install a conan version less than 2.0 (2.0 is at the time of writing the default version when installed via pip, but the dependencies are not up to speed yet). You need a profile for conan to install packages. This profile can be created via the conan profile subcommands, see To install the dependencies, run

conan install <movetk_root>/conanfile.txt -if <installation_folder_for_conan> --build=missing

where <installation_folder_for_conan> is some folder you specify where files for finding the dependencies are written.

Finally, add -DCMAKE_PREFIX_PATH=<installation_folder_for_conan> to the end of the CMake invocation at Step 3. This way, CMake can find the dependencies and link them with MoveTK.

Note: if you use a single configuration generator for CMake, such as Ninja or Make, also add the explicit build type to the invocation at Step 3 using -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=<build_type>, with <build_type a CMake build type such as Release. Make sure to match this build type with a build type that you installed the dependencies for (which is determined by the profile).

Note: the vcpkg and conan installation files contain the dependencies for both the Boost and CGAL backend. If you do not want to use the CGAL backend, you need to manually remove the dependency from the respective dependency file.

  1. Generate the MoveTK build files
cmake -S <movetk_root> -B <build_folder> <dependency_options>

with <build_folder your favourite buildfolder for MoveTK and <dependency_options> any options required by the installation of the dependencies, e.g. -DCMAKE_PREFIX_PATH=<conan_install_folder> for the conan approach.

  1. Build MoveTK. Run the following from the build folder
cmake --build .

Building tests and examples

To build the tests and/or examples, add -DMOVETK_BUILD_TESTS=ON resp. -DMOVETK_MOVETK_BUILD_EXAMPLES to the CMake generation step (Step 3).

Selecting backends

MoveTK currently supplies two geometry backends that you can choose from: one based on Boost geometry and one on CGAL. By default, MoveTK only builds with the Boost backend enable. The CGAL backend can be separately enabled by adding -DMOVETK_WITH_CGAL_BACKEND=ON to the CMake generation step. To disable the Boost backend, you can add -DMOVETK_WITH_BOOST_BACKEND=OFF to the generation step.

Using MoveTK in your App

Please refer to this example for a template on how to use MoveTK in your app

In addition, if you add the MoveTK CMake to your own project via add_subdirectory, all you have to do is link with the movetk target.

Third Party Libraries Included In MoveTK

MoveTK utilizes some open source components including:

  1. Modified version of GsTL (see include/third_party/GsTL-1.3)
  2. TNT (Template Numerical Toolkit) (see [include/third_party/GsTL-1.3] folder)
  3. Selection of headers of Boost version 1.70.0 (see [src/include/third_party/boost_future])
  4. Miniball (see [src/include/third_party/miniball])
  5. rapidjson (see include/third_party/rapidjson) MoveTK


This project includes GsTL which is software developed by Stanford University and its contributors.


Copyright (C) 2017-2020 HERE Europe B.V.

Unless otherwise noted in LICENSE files for specific files or directories, the LICENSE in the root applies to all content in this repository. Note that CGAL is largely GPL, so choosing the CGAL backend may affect the license under which MoveTK is available.