Some literary fans show their dedication to a particular author by traipsing to book signings or festivals; others track down elusive first editions. Nick Newcomen went a little further than most, spending a month driving more than 12,000 miles to inscribe his message – “Read Ayn Rand” – on a vast swath of US land.
Using a GPS tracking device as a “pen”, Newcomen took about 10 days to complete each word, turning on his GPS logger when he wanted to write and turning it off between letters, videoing himself at landmarks along the route for documentation. He drove 12,328 miles in total, across 30 American states, inputting the data once he was finished into Google Earth to create the world’s largest book advertisement.
“I saw on the internet some GPS ‘penned’ shapes and drawings done by others. They intrigued me because I saw potential there to use GPS to create a ‘written’ message on a very large scale,” said Newcomen.
He decided to point people towards the author because he believes that “‘Read Ayn Rand’ deserves to be the world’s biggest message”.
“She is the only modern author and thinker to offer ideas that have the potential and power to genuinely reshape the world for the better,” he said. “And on a personal level, her books and ideas have been instrumental in helping me achieve success and happiness in life.”