GPS tracking systems are a prime example of how cutting-edge technology improves your everyday life. Its many practical applications include finding that hot new restaurant and making sure your packages are delivered on time. You can even use GPS for leisure-time activities such as geocaching.
Despite its versatility, one thing you don’t associate GPS with is artistry. Its precision and efficiency seems at the opposite end of the spectrum from art’s creativity and beauty.
The truth is that creative expression can find inspiration in nearly anything. Some imaginative artists have been using GPS to develop unique works that demonstrate a charming harmony between science and art.
- Last October Jeremy Wood celebrated Halloween with a record-setting GPS drawing. He drove a meticulously planned 10,000-mile journey through England, Scotland and Wales. Along the way he plotted an astounding 264,000 positions on his car’s GPS. The result was a virtual connect-the-dots “decoration” including a bat, pumpkins and ghosts. Its 6,080-mile length broke the previous record by more than 1,500 miles.
- San Francisco resident Payam Rajabi used GPS tracking to craft a Valentine to his home town. In 2013 he set out on a 27-mile ride around the city that was tracked on an app installed on his iPhone. Less than three hours later he had used the tracking to superimpose a heart on a map of the City by the Bay.
- While Japanese artist Yassan has been working full-time on GPS art for more than six years, a work he created in 2010 turned out to be truly life-changing. He spent six months walking nearly 4,500 miles throughout Japan with his GPS. When he returned home, he downloaded the data into Google Maps to produce an image of an arrow-pierced heart along with the words, “Marry Me”. Fortunately, the story had a happy ending when his girlfriend said, “Yes”.
Do these heartwarming stories change the way you look at GPS systems? Thanks to human ingenuity, even marvels of technology such as these devices can enhance the way we communicate artistically.
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