'Read Ayn Rand': World's Biggest Message?

Ayn Rand fan travels more than 12,000 miles to write note in GPS "ink."

ByABC News
August 13, 2010, 11:39 AM

Aug. 13, 2010— -- Author Ayn Rand has millions of fans around the globe, but only one of them used the globe itself to say so.

Nick Newcomen drove 12,328 miles across the United States to "write" a message that can only be seen on Google Earth.

The mega-message "Read Ayn Rand" now stretches from coast to coast, with parts of the letters in 30 states.

According to the website World's Biggest Message, which documents Newcomen's high-tech journey, he used a Qstarz BT-Q1000X GPS tracking device as a "pen" to write his message as he drove. When he wanted to create the lines that would form letters, he turned the device on. In between letters, he turned it off.

The GPS logger lets users turn their travel records into files that can be displayed on a Google Earth map.

Newcomen first mapped the route he would need to drive to spell out his message. Then he hopped into his car and spent part of the spring and summer of this year driving around. And he footed the entire bill.

"The main reason I did it is because I am an Ayn Rand fan," he told Wired magazine. "In my opinion if more people would read her books and take her ideas seriously, the country and world would be a better place — freer, more prosperous and we would have a more optimistic view of the future."

Others have used GPS technology to create art and communicate messages, but Newcomen may be among the most ambitious.

He started his adventure in Marshall, Texas, outside a movie theater, then headed north. He passed through 30 states on his month-long trip, Wired reported. He ended up near Albany, Texas, about 300 miles from his starting point.

"The first word I wrote actually was the word 'Rand', then I went up North to do the word 'Read' and finished it with 'Ayn,'" Newcomen said.