Cyclists and Runners Trace Images on Maps by “GPS Drawing”

GPS_tracking.jpgA GPS drawing of a character from the Atari 2600 “Pitfall!” game. Image: NY Times

When we profiled bicycle related mobile phone applications last month, we clearly thinking creatively enough. The New York Times had a very interesting article yesterday on "GPS Drawing," which entails using your GPS-enabled phone to trace your running or cycling route on a map in shapes and patterns, such as faces, animals, or computer game figures.  

Once the figure is traced, users upload them to sites like everytrail.com and gpsdrawing.com (check out the Dog Drawings video). Jeremy Wood, an artist from London who maintains gpsdrawing.com, uses his GPS phone to trace his every movement while outside, which he has been doing since 2004:

‘People have been doing this for centuries, making big drawings so they could be seen by the gods,’ he said, citing the ancient Nasca geoglyphsin Peru as an example.

I suppose any excuse to get people to explore and appreciate their urban environment is a good thing. Have any readers been GPS Drawing themselves or know of people using these apps for interesting art projects, flash mobs, protests, or other reasons?

  • Andreas

    I must say this is the first time I have ever heard of this. Fantastic idea though. Must be quite a challenge to do this and pretty time consuming.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Can more precise GPS make streets safer? Image: Swift Navigation

SPUR Talk: Location Data and the Future of the City

|
Yesterday afternoon, at a presentation at the SF Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association’s (SPUR) downtown San Francisco center, Rob Hranac of Swift Navigation and Andreas Viglakis of Mapbox discussed how developments in mapping and location technology will enhance safety, bring about truly autonomous cars, and improve our understanding of demographics and the urban environment. Autonomous […]
STREETSBLOG USA

Pretty Please: U.S. DOT Asks Carmakers to Limit Onboard Distractions

|
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s signature issue has been distracted driving. He’s spent the last four years amplifying the heartbreaking voices of those who have suffered the consequences of this highly dangerous habit. The stories of the needless loss of so many people, especially children and teens, are tragic. Clearly, it’s time to take decisive action to stop […]
A "Jump" Electric Dockless Share Bike. The company that runs the Jump system will have to pay SFMTA a permit fee. Photo: Streetsblog/Rudick

SFMTA Requires Permit for Dockless Bike Share

|
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has published a permit application for so-called “dockless” bike-share companies. These are companies that offer rental bikes based on smart-phone and GPS technology–unlike the official, Bay Area Bike Share/Ford GoBike system, they don’t require fixed docking locations where users have to pick them up and drop them off. […]
Advocates and community members get an update on Bike Share at the Excelsior Library. Photo: Streetsblog

Bay Area Bike Share Outreach in the Excelsior

|
Last night ten people attended a Bay Area Bike Share meeting at the Excelsior Branch Library on Mission. The meeting was designed to solicit input from the public about preferred locations to place bike stations. It’s part of a ten-fold expansion of  the program, which will eventually end up with 7,000 bikes across the Bay […]