Abstract This paper presents a numerically stable solution to a point-in-polygon problem by combining the orientation method and the uniform subdivision technique. We define first a quasi-closest point that can be locally found through the uniform subdivision cells, and then we provide the criteria for determining whether a point lies inside a polygon according to the quasi-closest point. For a large number of points to be tested against the same polygon, the criteria are employed to determine the inclusion property of an empty cell as well as a test point. The experimental tests show that the new method resolves the singularity of a test point on an edge without loss of efficiency. The GIS case study also demonstrates the capability of the method to identify which region contains a test point in a map.