Trackmate direction of travel of particles


In the TrackMate plug-in on ImageJ, the final Track Statistics churns out things like average y-coordinate, track displacement etc. across a series of time course images. However, I am looking for the the two y-coordinates in chronological order that were used to compute the displacement so that I know the direction of the particles’ movement. I believe it must have been computed by TrackMate but I couldn’t seem to figure out how to extract the two y-coordinates from the Track Statistics.

Otherwise, is there another way to figure out the direction of travel from Track Statistics?

Thank you very much in advance for your help!


Hi @bryanng57 welcome to the forum!

The three output tables (Spots, Links, Tracks) are linked by ID numbers so for any track ID in the Tracks output, you can reference the links table and for each link there is a SPOT_SOURCE_ID and SPOT_TARGET_ID which can be used to reference in the Spots table (the column ID) which features were the first and last in the link.


This may be overcomplicating things though. If you want to see the coordinates in chronological order, sorted by track, use the Spots output and sort first on TRACK_ID and secondarily on FRAME.

Hope that helps!

PS. You may find this artice useful for dealing with the outputs of TrackMate if you’re not familiar with R or MATLAB or similar:


Hello @dnmason,

Thank you very much for your time and the reply. Indeed you were right that it is truly a pretty simple way to figure out the direction of travel!


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