Studio Contrechoc

design & textile & technology entries

GPS track fiddling, knitting and 3D printing

To have some pratice (or fun) we did a GPS tracking of rowing on a small river in Holland.

We used Open GPS Tracker on an Android to make the track.


You can add pictures, notes etc…

We tracked, sent the .kmz  file to ourselves using email. This kmz file can be imported into Google Earth to show the track:

Captura de pantalla 2014-09-05 a la(s) 14.25.18

To extract the coordinates we changed the file to .zip, unzipped and got the .kml file. Here you cen get the coordinates out and (using some find and replace tricks) import the file as a .csv into excel, using visualising tools to get the track again:

Captura de pantalla 2014-09-05 a la(s) 14.01.45

Using this line to make a low resolution image which can be knitted:

titanic_vlist_120_168            nordic1

Making a new version because it became a mess in the knitted version:


The diagonals are meant to restrain the wires at the back of this Nordic Knitting.Still this track is not really “designed”.

Somehow we fiddled further with the excel file, rounding of the numbers and got this more designed “London sub-way map” straight version of the track:

Captura de pantalla 2014-09-05 a la(s) 14.11.48

titanic_stile_100_80      titanic_knit_b

The two versions were also printed on a 3D printer using the contrast to relief script of Blender:

Captura de pantalla 2014-09-10 a la(s) 18.51.58

track_print2       track_print1

It was fun to add water inside the square boxes to get the tracked (which was rowed on a river) in the water again.


But this straight line of “real” GPS coordinates didn’t show all the details of the track. There is an infinity sign hidden in the starting point. This can be seen by turning the track in the perspective of Google Earth:

Captura de pantalla 2014-09-10 a la(s) 06.46.22

W have to figure out a way to make this perspective line into a subway map design transformation…:-)

We returned to the track, redesigned by excel, and copied the rounded coordinates out of the excel sheet, pasting them into the .kml file, zipped this file again and made it into a kmz file. Then importing it into Google Earth again as a track we obtained the “square rowing” track:


One of the students, Naomi, has written all the conversion steps in a pdf: (Dutch language)

and if you want to play around with coordinates, here is an excel document, with the right formula’s, and an excel graph, which updates when you change the orange cells:

Captura de pantalla 2014-09-14 a la(s) 20.25.41

There remain a few versions to be knitted and printed, and a way to add water to the knit 🙂





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