Here are step by step instructions on how I create a GPS picture drawing.
1. Look at the map and find something you want to draw.
2. Draw the route on a website like MapMyRun.com
3. Send the route to your phone. MapMyRun has an iPhone and Android7 app. (I like to run with my phone in an arm band holder, but I hold it in my hand with arm strap around the back of my hand. I don’t have a waterproof case so I place my phone in a ziplock to keep the sweat and rain away.)
4. Load the route from the app. Simply follow the route by running, walking or biking.
5. Save the run.
6. Screen capture the route and post your masterpiece for the world to see.
I use the MapMyRun website to create routes. You’ll need an account- it’s free. Using your mouse “draw” your picture. Remember, you’re drawing a picture with a single line. For example, you can not draw a face unless the eyes are joined to the edge. Look for circles, arcing lines and anything that jumps out at you. A grid of city blocks is always useful – think about drawing on graph paper without lifting your pencil.
The “auto follow roads” option is helpful in connecting your points and staying on the road. It will connect the points with the shortest path. If this doesn’t quite work, undo the last move and place your point closer to the last one on the path you wanted. Sometimes you may need to shut off this feature. For example when you run in a park or cross an empty lot. Is okay, turn the “auto follow roads” option off to draw that feature and then turn it on after. You can edit existing points by selecting and dragging them. The route will adjust by reconnecting your path to the points before and after the point you’ve moved. Play with the map tool, you’ll figure it out.
I joke that our city’s founding mothers and fathers hid these drawings in the street layout for us to find. Keep looking – it’s like a puzzle to solve!
Start with something simple and work up to your masterpiece from there. Above all, have fun, get some exercise and make some art!!
Special note: Sometimes the map is wrong and you don’t find out until you’re on the run where you find no street, a gated community, a fence or a bridge that’s closed. You’ll need to make a decision on an alternative or you can use the connect-the-dots approach. This involves pausing your GPS app, running to the other side of obstruction and unpausing your GPS. The MapMyRun app will connect these two points (pause and unpause) with a straight line, hence the name “connect-the-dots”. I call this the “Superman move” because it’s like I flew over the bridge construction. @RoadRashYYJ is the master of this connect-the-dots move.
I’d like to give a shout out to some great GPS Artists on Instagram:
Instagram name – city, state or country
@WallyGPX – Baltimore, MD
@RoadRashYYJ – Vancouver, BC
@Mrsptrain – Melbourne, Australia
@GPSeanArt – Murfreesboro, TN
@KrisanSelmo – Lyon, France
@Mathemaconomistician – Richmond, VA
@Warthlete – Ghent, Belgium
@harybanget – Bandung, Indonesia
@rupeshtripathi – Noida, India
@ant0n_ant – Melbourne, Australia
@nfazilov – Moscow, Russia
@alex.spoke.x.cannondale.team – Stralsund, Germany
@ken_szk – Tokyo ,Japan
@gpseokaki – Tokyo, Japan
@feder.floh – Hamburg, Germany
@rakositamas – Györ, Hungary
@mr_uberdriver – Singapore, Singapore
@changelingscuba – Scotland
@tatumika – Tampere, Finland
@threadsandspoke – Perth, Australia
@tattooedrunningguy – Geelong, Australia
@wallycyckes – Sunnyside Queens, NY
@andysymonds – Avignon, France
@holly_page10 – Bexley, United Kingdom
@bindicles – Brugge, Belgium
@mamilsports – Cardiff, Wales,United Kingdom
@teamwebscope – Auckland, New Zealand
@cpgvdburg – Dearson, Netherlands