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Am I a GPS-Enabled Artist or a Touch Mad?

OLD WINDSOR, U.K.--I like computers. I like maps. I like drawing. And in one gestalt moment at 10:36 p.m. last Thursday, these affinities all came together.

As I entered a neighborhood park for a nighttime stroll after the kid was in bed, firing up a GPS application on my phone to keep track of my exercise, it occurred to me: Why not use the phone to create and record a path I could show as a design on a map?

So I did. I chose a basic pattern, spiraling in from the periphery to the center. The GPS-enabled phone (a Google Ion developer phone) helped me chart my course through the dark. Here's the result:

It's not going to compete with the Nazca Lines, but with a location-aware phone and Google Maps, you can create geographic designs with the world as your canvas.
It's not going to compete with the Nazca Lines, but with a location-aware phone and Google Maps, you can create geographic designs with the world as your canvas. Stephen Shankland/CNET

When I showed this to friends and family, I took some ribbing for being pretty geeked out and even perhaps well on my way to being somewhat deranged.

But my little experiment crystallized some of my thinking about the converging virtual and physical worlds. Both creating the track then viewing it later weaved these largely separate domains together.

GPS track art couldn't exist as a form of expression without technology that's just arriving today.

You can read the full story at CNET News.com.

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