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  1. Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) data provides unprecedented information on cell fate decisions; however, the spatial arrangement of cells is often lost. Several recent computational methods have been developed to impute spatial information onto a scRNA-seq dataset through analyzing known spatial expression patterns of a small subset of genes known as a reference atlas. However, there is a lack of comprehensive analysis of the accuracy, precision, and robustness of the mappings, along with the generalizability of these methods, which are often designed for specific systems. We present a system-adaptive deep learning-based method (DEEPsc) to impute spatial information onto a scRNA-seq dataset from a given spatial reference atlas. By introducing a comprehensive set of metrics that evaluate the spatial mapping methods, we compare DEEPsc with four existing methods on four biological systems. We find that while DEEPsc has comparable accuracy to other methods, an improved balance between precision and robustness is achieved. DEEPsc provides a data-adaptive tool to connect scRNA-seq datasets and spatial imaging datasets to analyze cell fate decisions. Our implementation with a uniform API can serve as a portal with access to all the methods investigated in this work for spatial exploration of cell fate decisions in scRNA-seq data. Allmore »methods evaluated in this work are implemented as an open-source software with a uniform interface.« less