We all have things we’re passionate about. Some of us take to idolizing groups or supporting rock bands, while others turn into extremely devoted TV or movie buffs. Whatever you’re fiercely devoted to, it might pale in comparison to this one man’s devotion to his unique brand of art: creating artistic images on GPS maps. Talk about taking art to another level.
Anthony Hoyte: British Man Creates Reindeer Image on London Map via Map App
Anthony Hoyte, a British man from Cheltenham, creates art via an unconventional platform: GPS maps. He begins by planning intricate cycling routes through the streets of London, taking care that such routes will form certain images on GPS maps. Then he records his rides via a fitness tracker app. He has been doing this pastime for quite some time now, and this is his third time doing a Christmas-themed image. But this year’s effort may be his best yet.
In a statement he made to the media about his endeavor, Anthony, who is currently 51 years old, said, “I’m pretty happy with it. You plan them all out but until you get back and upload it, you’re not quite sure whether it’s going to work or not.”
His route lasted a total of nine hours, which tested his endurance and pushed him to his limits as a regular cyclist. It stretched up to 79 miles, starting in Hammersmith and going through Edgware, Hampstead Heath, Wood Green, Kilburn, and Maida Vale before ending in Euston Road in the central part of London.
“I live in the countryside and it’s very different to coming into London,” Anthony said. “Particularly around Neasden and Wembley, it’s not the most pleasant cycling. That’s about my maximum distance—I wouldn’t want to go too much above that. It’s a long day in the saddle.”
Anthony, who works as a heritage consultant, has created several art pieces using his bike, and he believes his experience as a product designer has been instrumental in the process of planning his routes.
“I just spend a lot of time looking at maps and it’s waiting for things to jump out at you. Normally I look at maps until I see something—’That looks a bit like a nose’—so I think, ‘Where can I find eyes near that?’ It’s like looking at patterns in clouds and seeing pictures. With these ones it’s a bit more tricky because I’m trying to do something festive so it’s harder, but it’s the same process really.”
Some of his unconventional art pieces have included images of a Yorkshire terrier in Leeds, a flock of birds in Bristol, and two elephants in Birmingham, all of which were created using GPS map technology. It was in 2017 when he first created his first Christmas image by cycling to the image of a snowman in London. In 2018, he cycled around Birmingham to the image of Santa Claus.
Anthony also went on to say that creating the images has become a sort of tradition, and that people were already asking him what his creation will be for the year.
Watch the video below