When I am travelling I always bring my running shoes. Being in a new city makes me want to leave my art there in the streets. Mostly I try to draw art inspired by the city or the country I am in. Like a ‘Deutsche wurst mit senf’ in Frankfurt or a Hamsah in Tel Aviv.

Since the holiday season is kicking of people have been asking questions on the costs or running figures abroad. Isn’t that really expensive? Luckily the answer is NO. Not if you do it well. To run figures you need a GPS signal and you don’t pay for GPS tracking. What makes your phonebill rise is only the use of internet through dataroaming. Your phone does not need internet to track where you are. You do need internet to load maps though. So if you want to see the streets around your FigureRun you need to be using internet one way or the other.

To be clear:

  • Using GPS is free
  • Surfing internet using WiFi is not charged through your provider (a hotel or cafe might charge you)
  • Surfing internet using dataroaming is charged and can be really expensive

FigureRunning in Italy without loading the map first

The same FigureRun in Italy with map











My advice? Stick to one of the following 2 scenario’s.

1. Run first and than use internet

  • Do not turn on dataroaming. To check go to settings –> general settings –> Network and then make sure data roaming is switched off
  • Go running using an app that tracks your route, for example the FigureRunning app or Runkeeper.
  • You are facing an extra challenge, since you can not orient yourself through using maps.
  • When you have finished your run, do not end your run or publish your drawing yet.
  • Use the internet to load the maps. Not all apps do this, FigureRunning does do this by opening your active run when connected to the internet. You can either use free WiFi or use dataroaming. If you use dataroaming you will be charged for loading the maps.
  • Publish your art using WiFi or dataroaming
  • If you have used dataroaming don’t forget to immediately switch it of again.

2. My favourite scenario: Use internet to load your maps first and than go running

  • Open your running app before you go running and while being connected to the internet. Preferably WiFi.
  • Wait untill the maps are loaded. Make sure that not only the visible map, but the whole area of your run is loaded by sliding the map around.
  • Your maps will only be loaded for the current zoom level. Make sure you use a level whereby you can easily find your way through the streets.
  • Turn off the internet.
  • Start running. The advantage is that now you can actually see where you are on your phone.
  • When you have finished your run, you can end it wherever you are.
  • Publish your art whenever you are connected to the net again through WiFi or use dataroaming.
  • If you have used dataroaming don’t forget to immediately switch it of again.

Frankfurter wurst in Frankfurt (with mustard) #collectingcities

Hamsa in Tel Aviv #collectingcities

Princess in Lanzarote #collectingcities

Elephant in (upside down) Berlin #collectingcities


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