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

Saanich mayor to ask CRD to study on uniting region’s fire dispatch

Haynes floats centralizing CRD fire dispatch at South Island E-Comm

Volunteer needed to empty dog poop can in Saanich Park

Local volunteers do the work of irresponsible dog owners at Mount Doug

Most Victoria transit takers thank their driver: poll

Bus riders thank drivers on Transit Driver Appreciation Day

Sexual assault charge dropped against former CFB Esquimalt member

Navy Lt. Ronald Clancy was charged with two counts of sexual assault in August 2018

Vancouver Island overdue for the big one, can also expect mega-thrust tsunami

The last big earthquake was 70 years ago in Courtenay

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Horvat scores 16 seconds into OT as Canucks beat Blackhawks 3-2

Pettersson sets rookie scoring record for Vancouver

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Most Read