How to create a work of art with your GPS while you run
If you are bored of running the same course every time you step out of the house, it might be time to look for inspiration in a surprising new place. Imagine choosing your practice course not by the length or the terrain, but by the pattern left behind on your GPS run tracker. That’s right tracing picture outlines using your body as the brush – welcome to the world of GPS art.
It’s easy enough to do. Begin by pulling up your mapping app and inspecting the roads and trails. Sometimes an image might pop out at you, other times you might need to be a little creative. Once you’ve established where you need to go in order to draw out your creation, hit ‘start run’ on your tracker and away you go. As you trace the outline of your drawing, the tracker will faithfully record it for you, resulting in some pretty funny images for you to save and share with friends.
People have used GPS art to propose, spelling out ‘Marry Me?’ (which is a pretty solid indication that the couple met at a running club). Others draw simple and humorous patterns (it’s mostly toilet humour here, we’ll be honest), but some runners go to very detailed lengths.
From Yoda to a Space Invaders alien, anything that can be imagined can be drawn. Outlines of dogs and tributes to Ghostbusters have all appeared, made famous by the social aspect of many tracking apps these days. It’s easier to master the drawings in urban areas as the myriad small streets and landmarks make it much simpler to track.
So what’s not to love? You might end up exploring some new parts of town while you’re trying to get that giraffe tail just right, or even develop a following on social media. Some runners are going as far as documenting their GPS art runs with wearable cameras in order to prove they’re putting their feet into action rather than driving with the GPS turned on – what fun would that be?
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