Location Based LED Map

Ok, so I know this is a long shot. But does anyone have any experience or ideas on how to get started on a project idea I have?

I want to make a wall art map that has an LED in each US state. Then, I want it to light up based off of my phone’s location. I travel a LOT. I’m a pilot so I’m always all over the country. I’d love to make this wall art so that my kids can look at it anytime and know where “daddy” is. When you’re gone as much as I am you have to find unique ways to connect with your kids. Anyone have and idea how I could go about doing this? Or better yet, if someone was interested in making this system I would be happy to pay a fair price for it. I’m just not that skilled with raspberry pi and I assume this would have to have one to make it work.

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Why not a cheap large TV displaying Google Maps or something?


If you can make the lights operational to turn oh through smartthings by Tate for example. A webcore piston would be rather easy to set this up. I can write the piston but configuring the lights is not my forte’

I’m thinking addressable led’s would be perfect for this.

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You would have to leverage your phones gps info with google maps api to return where you are… I do something similar with a virtual switch. I ask google ‘Where is dad’ and it pushes a voice notification to my sonos speaker, my approximate location and how far away from home I am

I was looking for something that would match our “rustic” interior design. So I would use a laser engraver to draw a map out on a piece of wood, and then pop an LED into a hole in the middle of the state. Just trying to make a modern idea blend with a not so modern interior.

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You’ve given me some good info to research here. I’ll check these suggestions out and see where that takes me.

These guys are super helpful and not particularly overpriced (though more expensive than eBay, Amazon or other method of ordering from China).

The fully RGB addressable LEDs may be overkill for your scenario (since you don’t need a million colors per “pixel”), though the additional cost may not be significant.

I have made costumes from this stuff and it is tremendously satisfying.

A Spark Particle Photon MCU (WiFi based) can drive a chain of addressable LEDs very simply and SmartThings (or any other program that you are able to link to your Location; such as Tasker?) can communicate via the free Spark Cloud…

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I envision something like the METAR maps some folks have built and maybe making the METAR/LED of the airport you’re closest to pulse or something. There are a couple of guys on the aviation forums that are making these now. With a little coding I’m sure you could tweak it for what you want to do. Plenty of tutorials out there on making them yourself too.



Excellent idea!