GPS Art for Art’s Sake

GPS art using JOSM and OpenStreetMap by Strava doodler Stephen Lund Victoria BC Garmin GPS Strava art GPS artist

GPX data becomes real GPS art when you use an app like JOSM to set it free from the map and bring it to life with custom colour choices

Since I started using my Garmin, my bike and a map of Victoria to make GPS doodles, I’ve generally referred to myself as a ‘Strava artist’. But ever since February, when an online observer pointed out that “it’s ‘GPS-tracking art’, not ‘Strava art'” (something I blogged about here), I’ve had the urge to explore possibilities beyond Strava.

Last week I got the nudge I needed when a fellow GPS doodler (of “HIRE ME” fame) shot me a Tweet about SISU – an app that renders “Your Exercise Data As Art.” Linking to your Strava or Runkeeper account, it gathers up your rides or runs within a specified period and creates a collage that looks like this.

Cool, but limited in the fact that it incorporates all activities with the same tag (like “Ride” or “Run”). So if I wanted a compilation of just my GPS doodles, I’d have to tag them as a different activity (like Surfing or Yoga, since Strava doesn’t currently support custom tagging).

So I did a little poking around, and my travels through Google eventually brought me to JOSM – an extensible editor for ​OpenStreetMap.

What I love about JOSM is the ability to assign any colour code or colour value (RGB, CMYK, HSV or HSL) to backgrounds, GPS points and a long list of other settings.

Using JOSM and the GPX data for the GPS giraffe I doodled back in February, I produced the colour variations for this Andy Warhol inspired collage. And loading the GPX files for a variety of my doodles made it easy to create a map-less compilation of my favourites.

About Stephen

Brand strategist and creative director by day. Hyper-competitive GPS-art obsessed cyclist most of the rest of the time.
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2 Responses to GPS Art for Art’s Sake

  1. That’s awesome. You should have that printed on a canvas for your wall. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Stephen says:

    That’s a great idea! In the works…


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