Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Map of the Week-GPS Art

GPS Adventures has just opened at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore. This is a life sized maze exhibit that introduces visitors to GPS and geocaching. In honor of the exhibit here are a couple of profiles of GPS-obsessed artists - people that create art from the tracks of their GPS units.

Jeremy Wood is a British artist and cartographer with a GPS Drawing web site. Here is a pentagram drawn from a series of consecutive flights beginning and ending at London's Stansted Airport.

"5414 miles in 68 hours for £74 from London Stansted airport to London Stansted airport" - was all this flying just to create a pentagram? He doesn't say.
He also leads GPS art workshops at schools, museums and festivals. Here is a map from a festival in Basel, Switzerland where participants spelled out the name of the city on the lower part of the map.

One day, he decided to enjoy a drink at the John Snow Pub in Soho. The pub is named after Dr. John Snow who produced the famous map that traced the 1854 cholera outbreak to a water pump just down the street from the pub. While there, his bag was stolen. His GPS unit was still in the bag and running. When the police returned the bag, he got back his unit and had a souvenir of his bag's travels. Here are the tracks of the stolen bag, overlaid onto John Snow's cholera map.

Over in San Francisco graphic designer Vicente Montelongo has created a series of GPS trail by bicycle in homage to the 8-bit video games of yore. Here are a couple of drawings reproduced for SF Weekly's "The Snitch." On the left is Space Invaders and on the right, Pac Man.

1 comment:

Amy G said...

Interesting, but I was looking at the pentagram for awhile before I realized that the blue was land, not water. If you're going to do crazy things with maps, please follow the blue is water rule.