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Meet the GPS artists running and cycling one creative canvas at a time

Meet the GPS artists running and cycling one creative canvas at a time

Sport Belinda Smith uses puns to name her GPS artworks, with this one called Shrimply the Best. Belinda Smith often begins her runs with a…

Saturday, Jun 04

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Sport Belinda Smith uses puns to name her GPS artworks, with this one called Shrimply the Best. Belinda Smith often begins her runs with a "round piece of anatomy".

"It might be an eye, or maybe a butthole," she says.

Because most of her animals are drawn as outlines, she begins and ends her run in the same spot on the map.

"So it makes sense for the start/finish to be a dot," she adds. Smith’s drawings often start or finish with a round piece of anatomy represented by a dot. In this case, it is the elephant’s eye. Smith, who is an ABC journalist, is an accidental GPS artist.

Back in 2013, she was training for a half marathon by doing 20km runs. Traversing the same route each day, she became "intensely bored".

"I was just looking at the map, thinking, ‘Where can I go?’" Smith says. "I noticed that Caulfield racecourse, plus a couple of roads around the top of it, looks a bit like a cat’s head, with ears. So I thought, ‘Oh, maybe I could extend that out into a body?’ "So I did, and ran it, and that’s sort of where it began."

In 2013, Smith had never heard the term "GPS art".But in running a "cat" while connected to an app called Strava, she was unwittingly partaking in the niche hobby, sometimes also called "Strava art"."Strava art" refers to the app Strava, which Smith uses to visually "map" her movements as she runs, often through the northern suburbs of […]

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