DHL's "Biggest Drawing" GPS stunt is fiction


With its loop-de-loops over empty seas and blithe transgression of airspace and flight paths, it was easy for us to be a little suspicious of DHL's "biggest drawing in the world," ostensibly created by tracking a GPS tranceiver in a plastic briefcase. Now, however, the artist's 'fessed up. From Wired:

It's a fake. The artist has added a line to the bottom of his webpage stating "This is fictional work. DHL did not transport the GPS at any time." And DHL confirmed that Nordenenkar never went any further than a warehouse the company allowed him to film in.

It's a delicious thought: DHL harangued by all sorts of shady international unpleasantness because of an advertising stunt. Wired's Dylan Tweney outlines why it could never have been:

* DHL does not deliver to arbitrary latitude-longitude destinations.

* DHL is not likely to consider "trace a few looping lines through the Indian Ocean, without landing" as a valid delivery request, even with lat-long coordinates

* You can't get a GPS signal inside the aluminum skin of an airliner

* No GPS system, even with supplemental batteries, would have lasted the 55 days the artist says his project took

* Details on the setup's "extended tracklog and battery time" are suspiciously absent.

Artist Admits He Didn't Actually Use GPS, DHL to Create 'Biggest Drawing in the World'

Published by Rob Beschizza

Follow Rob @beschizza on Twitter.

Join the Conversation


  1. Lol no guff. who actually fell for this? A glance at the map itself reveals it to be a ‘hoax’ … unless Billy from Family Circus is flying the plane.

  2. It wasn’t even a very good hoax; he should’ve taken the time to map out cities that DHL delivers to that would’ve made his face. A truly dedicated artist would’ve.

  3. If DHL had any sense of humor, they’d now add arbitrary lat/long coordinates to the valid ways you can specify an address for them.

  4. Is this Erik person really an artist at all? For some reason I hate smiley white pasty full bearded curly haired artists. Maybe he reminds me of an old annoying hip-hop-hippie friend who was always pretty useless.

  5. FWIW, I think my good friend Cory Mervis holds the record for the largest drawing for spelling “VOTE” across the United States as part of her Voter Drive voter registration project from a couple years back.

    You can check out her route, mapped via GPS, here: .

    Truth in advertising: I did the PR for her.


  6. I fell for it (I did have that nagging idea that it was too good to be true)I give him an “A” for BSing it. Give the man some credit!

  7. “By the way if anyone here is in advertising or marketing… kill yourself.” Bill Hicks

    Oh how I hate those marketing hacks. They take beautiful ideas, put a lot of make-up on them and make them walk the street for money.

  8. my tomtom worked fine on the plane trip: chicago>atlanta>houston

    i think max speed was 600mph. fun times

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