Feb 18, 2016

Artist Creates Large GPS Doodles by Cycling Around City


By on Thursday, February 18, 2016

When Canadian artist and fitness junkie Stephen Lund began tracking his cycling routes using GPS, he saw a potential to be creative with the red route lines that showed up on the map. On January 1, 2015, he made his first doodle, cycling around the city so that his route spelled out "Happy 2015". Things progressed pretty fast from there on with his doodles becoming progressively more elaborate. So far Lund has made about 70 doodles which he posts to his website GPSdoodles.com.
Lund first plans the doodle over a map, sketching his route with a pencil. This can be tricky because he needs to find roads and routes that connect in a continuous line. After hours of trial and error, Lund writes down the turn-by-turn directions as provided by his GPS device. He then cycles around the city and lets the app on his device capture the route. For more complex designs, he sometimes need to turn his GPS off at one point and on again at another to create a straight line through an area his bike cannot go. He tries to keep this technique to a minimum, and many of his drawings are done with a single line.

Lund averages about 70 km on each doodle, but the largest one —a depiction of a mermaid called 'The Siren of the Salish Sea'— had 220 km worth of lines, and took him over two days and more than 11 hours of cycling. Last year, Lund cycled 22,300 kilometers, a quarter of which went into making GPS Doodles.













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