Biggest drawing in the world created with GPS


UPDATE: The text: “This is fictional work. DHL did not transport the GPS at any time” has been added to the bottom of the page since the original posting.

Artist [Erik Nordenankar] has created the Biggest Drawing In The World. At least that’s what his URL says. He used the movement of a GPS device to create a giant single line self portrait on the globe. His Pelican case containing four large batteries and the GPS data logger was handed off DHL with very specific travel instructions for its 55 day journey. It’s a pretty amazing feat, but we really wish the case had managed to make the trip without the close watch shown in the video.


[via Waxy]

Comments

  1. mace says:

    Ambitious, but rubbish.

  2. redguy says:

    Hmmm. I’d say GPS does not work inside cargo aircraft. All that metal around should shield it pretty well. So most of the lines are probably just interpolated.

  3. Conan says:

    So you like, send a briefcase filled with active (as in switched on) electronics around the world (including a massive red capped toggle switch straight out of a James bond movie) around the world and you didnt freak out one airport security officer? makes this story hard to believe imho

  4. Paul says:

    If you watch the movie you see that he is not exactly flying commercial. It looks like he worked closely with DHL for this. At multiple points you see him either getting a tour of a DHL facility, hanging out with DHL employees, sitting in the cargo plans cockpit, sitting in the Co-Pilot seat with a GPS receiver, ect..

    Since he is working so closely with DHL I would imagine they had a lot of prior notice as to what the case was, its not like he had to make it through the every day airport security checkpoints for this, and if he did then I am willing to bet DHL worked it out.

    Also, that said, the “secure” case could also have just been a prop, in several clips you see him holding a hand-held GPS receiver.

    From the movie I am unqualified to say if it is True / False, but nothing in the movie signaled to me that this is a set-up. He gets an interesting art project out of it, and DHL will get lots of free publicity. I would not be surprised if DHL makes an ad-campaign out of it somewhere.

  5. Hackius says:

    So he sent it through DHL but he went along with it? Why did he send it through DHL then?
    Who financed this insanity?

    And why does he look like a hobo?

    This all smells fishy

  6. BigD145 says:

    It looks like a doodle, which is extremely easy to do using any GIS software.

  7. Wesley says:

    It’s plausible that all those DHL deliveries were made, but not in such circuitous fashion.

  8. mace says:

    This might just be a bad attempt at a viral video from DHL

  9. Tom says:

    please don’t go downhill hackaday, is this really worthy of posting?

  10. John says:

    I’m 90% certain this is just a viral for DHL. I can’t see them agreeing to fly in loops just to draw some guy’s hair.

  11. chrizlax says:

    The handheld gps seems to be for navigating with, considering that he has a map at the same time. Though it is a bit suspicious that a plane seemingly full of 1000’s of other parcels should follow his exact (and very indirect) route choice.

  12. MrHappy says:

    I’m willing to bet it’s real, just for the publicity for DHL. They probably at least partially funded it.

    That being said, yeah, the lines may be slightly embellished. Whatever. As far as Hackaday, this is cool, but needs more relevance to, well, hacks.

  13. pferland says:

    I did a whois lookup on the domain, but could really tell anything useful from the information

    http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/results.jsp?domain=biggestdrawingintheworld.com

  14. threepointone says:

    if you’d ask me, it’s just an artist who had a crazy idea. DHL definitely bought in on it and supported it because of the publicity it could have brought. If it is a viral marketing campaign, I don’t think it was intentional.

    Otherwise, it was still a rather big undertaking (both on the artist and DHL’s part–logistics must have been insane), but personally I agree that it wasn’t really that exceptional.

  15. Del says:

    Am I the only one that thinks the picture looks like Jesus (including the crown o’ thorns)? See? Has his arms spread wide, like he wants to give the world a hug…

    No, I’m not a religious person, quite the opposite.

  16. mewse says:

    oh man, now i want to ship things with DHL so they can fly in circles over the ocean with my cargo.. :P

  17. alfiesauce says:

    What a load of crap…
    I could try to come up with a reasonable cost estimate of this project, but it’s not even worth my time because there are so many other things that point this out as a fake…

  18. tjhow says:

    lol.

  19. berfle says:

    Perhaps someone should calculate the amount of Jet A fuel wasted by this…

    …the obvious answer is “all of it” but seeing the actual number would be interesting.

  20. blackman says:

    Why is there an led on inside which will never be seen and just draw 20mA of precious battery power. Very stupid.

  21. dinK3r says:

    w0w… im so using dhl now…

  22. tjhow says:

    bravo! way to make a point.

    by wasting an arseload of fuel and money.
    i doubt they did all those ridiculous loops, this is such a hoax.

  23. Mothflavour2 says:

    Perhaps this isn’t the most practical thing you can do with a GPS, but it’s definitely an interesting concept. Even if it is just a viral video, I still think that the person who put this whole thing together deserves some credit.

  24. Erik says:

    First. I personally know that a recreational gps wont’ work inside an airplane. 2 of mine didn’t.

    but more importantly:
    1. Why would dhl fly LARGE loops in the middle of the ocean and over land (some possibly over restricted airspace)?

    2. the “artist” would have to have precise coordinates to tell all the pilots and drivers when to start the loops and how big to make the loops.

    3. Who paid for this. Not only would he have to pay for the extra fuel being used but also an enormous amount of money for the inconvenience of making a courier who is supposed to be on time go out of their way for one guy.

    It’s a hoax.

  25. scruff says:

    Fake! It would never have survived DHL’s handling, the 2 items they carried for me were destroyed in transit!
    DHL denied responsiblity of course.

  26. me says:

    Also note how the the latitude doesn’t match when crossing the 180th meridian…
    From this i would assume that the picture was generated from his freehand drawing, as opposed to the GPS log

  27. CrymeLord says:

    Dear Internet Morons,

    Before labeling something as fake based on nothing but the ideas in your head, you should maybe consider that he has documentation on all of this. At a bare minimum he has all of the delivery destinations listed. Some points to consider:

    1) Obviously he approached DHL with the idea and they agreed.
    2) Not all of the lines are due to air flight, so some loops could be engineered through simple package routing over land.
    3) Loops in the air can be attributed to a plane being forced to take off in the opposite direction they intended to go in (thus requiring them to loop around).
    4) If you look at the finished drawing, you can see that it isn’t perfect and that some loops were probably unintentional.

    Perhaps you should consider doing something constructive with your life instead of attempting to tear down what others create.

    But you won’t.

  28. TheBlunderbuss says:

    Single largest “digital drawing” please. Just “drawing” would imply a physical medium.

  29. beesknees says:

    I for one would chose a shipping carrier who flies more direct routes… seems as though those loops would add quite a delay to your shipment times.

  30. Javier says:

    How much did DHL pay you to post this?

  31. lamancha86 says:

    fake, fake, fake.

    Que farza, farza, fake fake, y que para hacer los risos del cabello el avión de DHL estuvo dando vueltas jajajajaja este pinche seudoartista pendejo solo quiere engañar gente.

    si el avion estuvo dando tantas vueltas en el oceano para los risos este tipo tendria que haber pagado una fortuna, pero pues todo es una farza, fake, fake, fake

  32. Jevans says:

    Surely…the flight path on each side of the map should exactly line up?
    They’re not even close to each other…
    Adobe Illustrator maybe?

  33. IC BS says:

    He did some huge loops over open ocean. HOW?

  34. voice of reason says:

    #17 Are you kidding me??? What an asinine question.

    I’m sure DHL scheduled the use of their jets for the sole purpose of lugging this briefcase all over the world, instead of using existing routes.

    C’mon!

  35. CraigD says:

    If this is real, I want to see the research he did to get this to show up correct on a mercator projection. Also lets see what his drawing looks like in other projections. My personal feeling on this is that he used his brief case to draw this walking around a field or park, then projected it on this map; but if it is real, lets see the math on the projection conversion.

  36. Andreas says:

    Did´t anyone look at his homepage?
    “This is fictional work. DHL did not transport the GPS at any time”
    http://www.biggestdrawingintheworld.com/drawing.aspx

  37. Crash says:
  38. Seth says:

    Don’t use DHL. Ever.

  39. simmo says:

    I’m an avionics engineer, and GPS definitely wouldn’t normall work within a cargo bay of an aeroplane. HOWEVER, DHL could have easily specially set up a GPS repeater within the cargo bay, to relay the data from the external GPS antenna. It WOULD then work (with an error equivalent to the position of his GPS receiver relative to the position of the aircraft’s GPS antenna).
    My hunch is that this guy works for DHL, hence was able to get the idea for this and implement it (if it is true of course).

  40. Claan22 says:
  41. Rich says:

    If one was a bad person conveying a Big Bag of Stuff from A->B, then having a PDA in there broadcasting GPS coords could be quite useful. It could be used to analyse whether the package had lingered in any customs sheds or been passed through unopened.

  42. DJ Fadereu says:

    Very dubious claim to say the least. I would like to humbly claim that my own attempt was the first to use a cellphone as pen, and a city as paper. I did not draw anything, but used my walking path as a way to write and send a message in English. A bit like Morse Code. I wrote the code in Python for Nokia N70.

    This is from one year ago in Bombay, India…

    http://algomantra.blogspot.com/2007/07/cellphabet-10-how-i-can-walk-in-english.html

  43. The more i hear about this, the more fascinated i get i have been looking online for mumbai related material but having minimal luck, you provided me with something i can actually gain knowledge from! i’m currently doing a project on Mumbai at prison university & i’ve been running into article after article of the same information. i can’t understand why these so called bloggers do it! if you feel strong feelings on a subject particularly one as pressing as this, why wouldn’t they come up with their own opinions? i thank you for going that extra mile in your “Biggest drawing in the world created with GPS – Hack a Day” page.
    Best Regards, Mumbai Voices

  44. Viral marketing and advertising is named immediately after the virus. The promoting information is setup to journey expotentially just like a virus. 1 human being tells five who inform a different five who notify a different five and so forth. The 1st profitable virus advertising campaign is typically quoted as hotmail – who place a website link for totally free e mail in the bottom of every electronic mail. This was when electronic mail was challenging to receive. These days emails can vacation all over the planet in minutes as some hapless men and women have found!. Currently yourtube and myspace function about the viral principle.

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