An Artist Bikes Around to Create Large-Scale Drawings with a GPS Tracker

GPS doodling seems to be on the rise due to the popularity of apps like Strava.

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GPS drawing is not your typical art form. In place of a brush and canvas, the artists uses their own movement against a canvas of city streets to create large-scale works of art. Stephen Lund, one such artist in Victoria, BC, spent much of 2015 biking around the coastal capital to create elaborate and humorous doodles in a GPS tracker.

Lund, as much a cyclist as an artist, started the project out quite casually. He’s a member of Strava, a worldwide online community of athletes which allows users to analyze, quantify and share their exercise with other users by connecting to Garmin, Fitbit, and other fitness trackers. In the early hours of January 1st, 2015, Lund snuck out of his house to leave a New Year’s message for the city, writing “Happy 2015!” across a section of downtown and uploading the drawing to Strava. “My Strava handiwork got enthusiastic kudos from many members of my cycling club,” Lund writes on his website, “And since I like kudos and praise almost as much as I like cycling and creative pursuits, I decided to embrace Strava artwork as a way both to spend some of my free time and recharge my creative batteries.”

Strava art

Lund then spent much of 2015 honing his craft, drawing everything from animals and dinosaurs to Star Wars characters and a portrait of Queen Victoria across the streets of the city. All told, he logged 22,300 km (13,857 miles) on his bike that year. “About a quarter of which I clocked just having fun drawing GPS doodles,” he writes.

On December 31, 2015, Lund bid farewell to the project in the same way he came into it, albeit with somewhat cleaner lines. Writing, “So Long 2015,” across the city, Lund finished his year of artistic cycling. He has archived all of his works on his blog, or you can have a look at them in the gallery below.


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