Bike + GPS = Digital Doodling Over the Streets of Baltimore

A Baltimore schoolteacher uses his phone and his bicycle to construct whimsical sketches on digital maps of the city, Nate Berg reports.

In what is half eccentric hobby, half conceptual art project, Michael Wallace has been riding his bicycle in elaborately planned, zig-zagging, wayward loops through the streets of Baltimore, using a GPS tracking feature on his phone to record his path. These routes, when displayed on a map, form doodles of animals, constellations, scenes from history, and even video game screenshots.

An eighth-grade science teacher, Wallace uses his breaks to sketch out new routes on printed maps of his neighborhood.

"To make these drawings, Wallace brings a detailed map of the city, with arrows and paths marked to keep him on track," Berg writes. "It's not always perfect, and one missed turn can ruin what can sometimes be hours worth of work. A one-block misstep had a huge impact on an early drawing of a giant rat."

"My rat ended up looking sort of like an armadillo," Wallace says.

Numbering over 200, Wallace's pieces have appeared in local art galleries, and are becoming more refined and complex. This summer, he has plans for at least 50 more drawings, including depictions of tectonic plate boundaries, Steve Irwin, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Full Story: Bike as Paintbrush, City as Canvas

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city

Choose from over 20 styles of neckties imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95
DVD Cover of The Story of Sprawl

The Story of Sprawl

See how America changed shape in this collection of historic films that visually document how sprawl evolved.
$29.99 for 2-DVD SET