Spreading the festive cheer amid coronavirus pandemic, a cyclist in the United Kingdom has created a ‘Merry Christmas’ message on a map using his GPS tracking app. Now, the message, as seen on the street map, is going viral, delighting many online.
Anthony Hoyte, from Cheltenham, used the exercise and route-sharing app called Strava to create the pattern on the streets of London after cycling on various routes covering a total distance of 79-miles (127 km). It took over nine hours for Hoyte, who specialises in GPS art, to complete the festive greeting.
The photo of the 2020 message during the holiday season is widely being shared across social media sites, from Facebook to Instagram.
However, this is not the first time that Hoyte has ‘drawn’ Christmas-related messages on street maps. Last year, he travelled on various routes to create a reindeer shape on map. Among his other festive creations are snowman, and Santa Claus faces.
For his latest creation, he started his journey in North London before heading west across through Camden and Hampstead, then swinging east again, LadBible reported. He then headed down through the southern parts of the city, before cycling his way back up through the East End to finish at his starting point.
— Anthony Hoyte (@anthoyte) December 10, 2018
“I love that my drawings – especially the Christmas ones – seem to be appreciated,” art enthusiast and cyclist told BBC news. However, unlike previous years, creating the message in 2020 was challenging. Even though he carefully planned the route, he said some unforeseen road closures and diversions meant he had to modify the route “on the fly”.
“The ‘r’ in Christmas was supposed to take in a bit of Regent’s Park, but it was closed by the time I got there,” he added saying it skipped his mind most parks were closed.
Although for most of such hurdles, the 52-year-old managed to find an alternative route, but also had to ‘cheat’ a little. “Round Euston it’s a right mess so I had no option but to cheat. I had to pause my recording, navigate to the other side of the works and then set it going again. This creates a straight line between the two points,” he told Metro, UK.
The planning stage of his work, which involves him to take help of various apps and maps, is usually more cumbersome than executing the plan itself. “The Christmas drawings and commissions are much more difficult because I’m trying to find specific things in the road pattern. That’s why the Christmas ones have ended up so big – the larger I go the more roads I have to work with,” he said in his website.