Simon Weckert, a Berlin-based artist recently managed to fool Google Maps into giving out fake traffic jam alerts by using 99 different smartphones in Germany. The artist kept the phones inside a small cart he pulled along while walking slowly down a major street in Berlin.
German Artist’s Google Maps Hack made several motorists redirect their initial routes because of fake traffic jam alerts
While Simon walked slowly pass some Berlin streets with the 99 mobile phones in the cart, Google Maps kept communicating fake traffic jam notifications to motorists thereby causing many to change their route in order to avoid perceived gridlock.
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Using so many smartphones belonging to different individuals actually gave Google servers the impression that slow-moving traffic must have been happening on the streets where Simon tested out his hack.
When interviewed about this Google Maps Hack, Simon revealed;
“Through this activity, it is possible to turn a green street red, which has an impact in the physical world by navigating cars on another route to avoid being stuck in traffic,”
Simon highlighted in his work that people now tend to “blindly” think of data as being “Interpretation free, objective and unambiguous”.
When reacting to these hacks, a Google Spokesperson said;
“Whether via car or cart or camel, we love seeing creative uses of Google Maps as it helps us make maps work better over time.”