GPS drawing is a combination of art, technology and travel. The aim is to draw using a GPS co ordinates – such as using tracking app on a mobile phone – turning travelling into an art form.
I wanted my drawing to reflect the local area; so as Plymouth is known as the “ocean city” i decided to try and create a simple boat on campus.
My boat drawn on campus by using GPS co ordinates. Mapped using Single points during the walk and later connected with straight lines in GPS visualizer.
Some of the difficulties with GPS drawings are obstacles such as buildings and walls that could potentially block paths you are trying to create; and if you are using a mobile phone app, they tend to drain battery quite quickly!
World’s biggest if – Hugh Pryor
‘If’ features 70 mile tall letters spanning London, Oxford and the surrounding areas. It is created only by travelling through places with names that begin with ‘if’, such as ifield road and ifold, as seen above.
Hugh Pryor – ‘The Wallingford Fish’
The Wallingford Fish, created by Hugh Pryor, is regarded as one of the first GPS drawings. It covers 13 miles, is 67 miles long, and made using felt tip pens and a map!
A complex example; ‘My Ghost’, uses GPS data collected from all his daily travels to create a ‘Personal Cartography’ map of London. It reflects the daily travels that we take, but often do not realise how much we cover.
Apps and Tools
My tracks is an android app that collects GPS data of your travels.
GPS visualizer is a powerful tool for creating drawings based on GPS data. Its capabilities include creating a map from raw GPS data in a variety of formats, as well as hand creating maps.