GPS Drawing [Gallery] [Maps] [Info]

The GPS co-pilot led me through stunningly ordinary places and perfectly boring countryside for 44 days averaging 221 miles per day

Halloween GPS Drawing
Halloween GPS Drawing using the island as a canvas

This is a 6,080 mile drawing was commissioned by Vauxhall Motors to help promote their new car. They lent me a 1 litre Corsa to create a Guinness World Record for the ‘Largest GPS Drawing’. Lots of single track lanes with thousands and thousands of gear changes, clean sheets every night, and far too many full English breakfasts.The total driving distance was 9,750 miles, this includes all the routes in-between to create the final image. It's the same distance from London to the South Pole; only with roundabouts and traffic lights along the way.

Google Map of Route

Flickr Map of Photos

In half a mile arrive at destination” The drawing was composed of over 110 routes programmed into a sat-nav. Once I’d arrive at a destination it was merely a prompt to select the next route and get going again.

In four miles turn left onto road.” It’s all very well studying a digital or paper map to find roads to compose an image, but in practice I found many of my choices lead me along slow and precarious single track country lanes. Some of which had grasses and weeds growing along the middle that were long enough to tickle and clean underneath the car, whilst others had pot-holes big enough to ground the car to a complete halt.

In a quarter of a mile make a U-turn, then make a U-turn” She said in mid-Wales. A loop I could have been enticed in forever had I mistaken her for a real person.

Arriving at Ystradffin” What the where? I drove along each letter of the word ‘Halloween’ travelling coast-to-coast from mid-Wales to Norfolk. As I did I became physically aware that all the hilly squiggly roads of the west are gradually ironed out flat and straight by the time I arrived in the east.

At the traffic lights turn right.” Its rush-hour somewhere and I’ve been given another challenge on an unfamiliar and poorly marked junction.

In three-quarters of a mile enter the slip-road onto motorway, then keep left to exit motorway.” If anyone wants to break this Guinness World Record I recommend sticking to the motorways. Easy miles.

Ballot boxes…counting…Scottish referendum…” Oh, that’s an instruction from the radio, not from the GPS. Where am I again and where do I turn? I’m in Scotland just after the vote and pass a rhythm of trees that have signs saying ‘Vote’ and ‘Yes’ nailed to every other one. A while later I see a large poster in a field saying ‘Thanks’ with a hole cut out the middle of it.

At the roundabout take the fourth exit.” One, two, thhh… Hurry up and render the map! I exit hoping for the best.

Views from what was my office for six weeks.

Guinness World Record
The Vauxhall Corsa with geological samples from all over the UK mainland.

jeremy wood 2014