Scanning probe microscopy (SPM) has facilitated many scientific discoveries utilizing its strengths of spatial resolution, non-destructive characterization and realistic in situ environments. However, accurate spatial data are required for quantitative applications but this is challenging for SPM especially when imaging at higher frame rates. We present a new operation mode for scanning probe microscopy that uses advanced image processing techniques to render accurate images based on position sensor data. This technique, which we call sensor inpainting, frees the scanner to no longer be at a specific location at a given time. This drastically reduces the engineering effort of position control and enables the use of scan waveforms that are better suited for the high inertia nanopositioners of SPM. While in raster scanning, typically only trace or retrace images are used for display, in Archimedean spiral scans 100% of the data can be displayed and at least a two-fold increase in temporal or spatial resolution is achieved. In the new mode, the grid size of the final generated image is an independent variable. Inpainting to a few times more pixels than the samples creates images that more accurately represent the ground truth. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.