Tracking for mobile devices: A systematic mapping study

Rafael Roberto, João Paulo Lima, Veronica Teichrieb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (SciVal)


Tracking is an important task that is used for several applications, such as navigation assistance and augmented reality. The improvement and popularization of mobile devices in recent years allowed these applications to be executed on such devices. Thus, several tracking techniques proposed lately take into consideration the benefits and limitations of handheld devices. Therefore, the goal of this work is to perform a systematic mapping in order to provide trends and classification regarding the recent publications in the area of tracking for mobile devices. This study collected 2276 papers from three scientific databases using an open-source crawler, from which 360 were selected to be classified according to four properties: tracking type, degree of freedom, tracking platform and research type. The analysis of these data resulted in a map of the research field, which was presented under three perspectives: the distribution and trends over time of each classification property and the relationship between them. Besides the visual map, the full list of classified papers is available through an open-source web-based catalog. The results showed that the number of publications is increasing every year, which shows a growing interest in this field. Moreover, most works use the device's sensors for tracking in location-based applications and almost all of them calculate a 2D or 2D + θ pose. There are also several papers about vision-based techniques to compute the device's pose and in the majority of them a full 6D pose is computed. Beyond that, there is a clear preference for systems that calculate the pose locally on the device and only a few use a remote server to assist in this task. Moreover, more than 92% of all papers propose a new technique or use existing ones to create a solution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-30
Number of pages11
JournalComputers and Graphics (Pergamon)
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Mobile device
  • Systematic mapping
  • Tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • General Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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