Technology is changing the way art is made. Step aside Picasso, Rembrandt, and Van Gogh you ain’t got nothing to do with this. Combine the love of the outdoors with a bit of electronics, and now everyone has a digital paintbrush and an unimaginable size art board to create their own masterpieces. This is GPS art.
It’s really simple. GPS art is created when someone is tracking their activity in an effort to draw an image on a digital map. The global positioning system is your paintbrush and the world is your canvas.
You can create words, a dinosaur, a unicorn, you can draw anything. Also, we are leaving something out. GPS art includes a lot of penis-shaped images. No other way around that. There are a lot of wieners. Hey, art is in the eye of the beholder.
To get started download a GPS tracking app. There’s a lot of options like Strava, Nike+, or GPS Tracks to name a few. You can think up an image you want to create and just go or you can use a route mapping program, like MapMyRun, to get a start on your outline. Then you walk, run, hike, or bike your way around while you track your progress. Ta-dah, art! As with any craft, there are a lot of helpful tricks of the trade.
Who are the legendary artists of our generation? There’s Hugh Pryor and Jeremy Wood, but you need to look at Stephen Lund. He gave a talk at TEDxVictoria on A Creative Spin: Pedaling My Art. Also, there’s Claire Wyckoff. Her GPS speciality is, well, phallic doodles. But, the beauty of GPS art is anyone can do it. So grab your GPS device, get out there and paint the town!