This web app uses the HTML5 canvas element which is not supported by your browser. Please update your browser or try a different browser.

Motion Graphs

Position vs Time

Collect Data

Data will be collected for 8 s. Press "Stop" to end sooner.


Position Matching

Choose one of the following graphs. Move the car to match the chosen graph.

Position match 1

Position match 2

Position match 3

Position match 4

Scroll down the page for directions and exercises.


Use your finger/mouse to move the car back and forth along the road. All positions are measured from the front end of the car.

White marks on the road represent intervals of 5 meters, The red mark is the reference point from which all distance measurements are made, i.e. the zero meter mark. The initial positions of both the reference point and the car are randomly determined. Clicking the Reconfigure button will randomly change them and erase any previous data. Of course, you can manually position the car where you want it, too.

Click the Collect Data button to start graphing. Data will be collected for 8 seconds unless stopped earlier. Clicking Collect Data again will erase the previous graph and start a new one.

The Position match buttons will clear the graph and show an orange line in the background. Try to move the car so that your graph matches the orange line. Use the Reconfigure button to clear the matching lines.

Things to Try

  1. Move the car to the left...
    1. at a slow constant speed.
    2. at a fast constant speed.
    3. starting slow and getting faster.
    4. starting fast and getting slower.
  2. Repeat 1 above but moving to the right.
  3. Experiment with changing direction.
  4. Experiment with changing speed.
  5. Look at the postion matching exercises. Before trying them, though, study the line and try to explain in words how you should move the car to match the line.
  6. Make your own predictions and test them. For example, predict what the graph would look like if the car, travelling left, slowed down then reversed direction and sped up again. Try it and see if you are correct.


Can you give clear answers to the following questions using full sentences?

  1. What does a negative value for the posiiton mean?
  2. What does a positive value for the posiiton mean?
  3. What indicates the car's speed on a position-time graph?
  4. What tells us which way the car is moving on a position-time graph?
  5. How can you tell from a position-time graph when a moving object has changed direction?