Stephen Lund created a doodle of a giraffe riding around Greater Victoria with his GPS.

Cyclist uses GPS tracker to create unique images

When Stephen Lund looks at a map, he doesn't just see streets and parks — he sees images.

When Stephen Lund looks at a map, he doesn’t just see streets and parks — he sees images.

“I see shapes in the map. I look at the road and shapes start to emerge,” said the 50-year-old. “I liken it to seeing shapes in a cloud. Once you get that general shape . . . you can make it into a viable picture.”

It’s those images that Lund recreates by riding his bike and tracking where he goes with his Garmin GPS, weaving through parks and streets.

The project began on New Years Eve 2014 on a whim, when Lund decided to go out the next morning on his bike and, using the red tracking lines of his GPS, write Happy 2015. He also created birthday messages for family members.

Lund has since graduated from messages to intricate images.

Since 2015, he’s created 85 doodles while cycling throughout Greater Victoria, with each image averaging 70 kilometres or a roughly three to four hour ride.

He’s created more simple GPS doodles of a bear, hedgehog and bunny to more complicated doodles including a giraffe, a pilgrim choking a turkey, the statue of David and Santa Claus.

The largest image he’s created was a mermaid, which took him two days to complete and covered 100 square kilometres.

“(Cycling) is a nice mental break from work,” said Lund, who moved to Victoria four years ago from Calgary because of his love of cycling. “What I like about the doodles is it injects a real sense of purpose into the ride. It’s not just a three-hour mindless endeavour for the sake of keeping my pants from getting too tight. There’s an outcome which is exciting to look forward to.”

Creating the red lines on the map require a lot of pre-planning on Lund’s part. Once he sees an image on a map, he plans out the route, relying heavily on Google Maps and satellite view to zoom in and see which roads, schools fields, parking lots and connecting pathways he can cut through.

According to Lund, certain areas of Greater Victoria are ideal for different elements of a doodle.

For example, streets in Oakland make for good lettering, Foul Bay Road makes a good string and the University of Victoria makes a circle, which create the balloon in his happy birthday messages. The southern part of the region, which has a higher density of roads, makes for good detail.

His doodles have generated much interest online — mostly positive reactions. However, there are some skeptics — people saying he created the images in Photoshop.

Lund also links each image to Strava, a site that renders GPS data.

“I can’t trick a GPS. The proof is in the data,” he said, adding he’s currently working on a moose. “It’s a lot of time and kilometres on the bike, but it’s a lot of fun too.”

To see more of Lund’s images visit gpsdoodles.com.

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria housing provider launches crisis prevention program to combat homelessness

Pacifica Housing aims to address challenges before tenants risk evictions

Victoria wins crucial WHL contest over Giants in Langley

Royals take over second in B.C. Division ahead of Vancouver

Strike could start Monday for handyDart

BC Transit warns users to find alternate transportation

GALLERY: Giants host Royals in WHL action

Photos from the Vancouver Giants clash with the Victoria Royals at the Langley Events Centre

Cordova Bay group against plaza redevelopment

Cordova Bay shopping centre has three, four-storey buildings

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

UPDATE: BC Transit’s handyDart service strike delayed

LRB application by contractor means new strike notice must be issued by union

Saanich signals support for in-fill developments in Gorge-Tillicum

The Gorge-Tillicum neighbourhood continues to experience infill. Council’s committee-of-the-whole signaled Saanich’s support… Continue reading

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

Most Read