Fun with GPS

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There seems to be a plethora of games and alternatives emerging to take advantage of the affordability of handheld GPS units. In a previous article on the GIS Lounge, the high-tech treasure hunting game of Geocaching was discussed. Still looking for ways to have fun with your GPS unit? Learn about more ways to use the surface of the earth as your gameboard.   This article will provide an overview on two more GPS-based ideas: Geodashing and GPS Drawing. 


Geodashing is very similar to geocaching in the sense that people are searching for a particular spot with only a set of coordinates as their clue. In this game, a set of waypoints known as dashpoints are randomly generated by a computer.

These points are located in areas worldwide and posted to the web. The objective is to find as many of these dashpoints as possible. The competition is either done individually or as part of a team. As dashpoints are reached, the locator reports back with information about the site. Since the points are generated randomly, one of the drives of the games is the unpredictability of where those points may turn out to be. As the Geodashing site states; “Getting there is All the fun.

GPS Drawing

The GPS Drawing Project seeks to display GPS-based artistry created by navigating through a landscape with a GPS unit. The resulting linear trail collected by the GPS Data Logger creates the resulting art. There is a gallery of the GPS art that the user can browse through. Each entry contains an interactive shockwave called “GPS-o-shockwave” of the GPS route as well as a description of the area the artist navigated. The entry entitled “The Brighton Elephant” gives a good perspective of GPS art. Accompanying the GPS drawing is an aerial of the area navigated with the route overlaid. The art isn’t just restricted to land. Also listed in the GPS Gallery are drawings obtained by sea and by air. Most of the submittals appear to be from England, but there is also GPS art from points in Thailand, China, and South Korea.

The submittal of GPS art is open to anyone. Ascii files of the GPS points are welcome to be submitted to the site. There is also a shockwave application where you can copy and paste your GPS data points to see what your GPS-based art looks like. Still exploring for ideas on using your GPS unit? There’s a GPS Games Developer Forum at Yahoo! You can also visit the GPS Games web site for more ideas.

Image By Paul Downey from Berkhamsted, UK.

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