A man wheeled 99 smartphones around in a wagon to create a traffic jam on Google Maps
Footage has shown how a man was able to trick Google Maps into causing a traffic jam, by using a kart filled with mobile phones.
Filmed in Berlin, the experiment shows the man pulling 99 phones across an empty bridge, with a screen recording of the traffic feature of Google Maps.
As the phones get pulled across the bridge, the map starts showing an orange and then a red line extending on the road. And shortly after, the app created a huge traffic jam in what is normally a quiet neighborhood.
An artist pulling a wagon piled high with smartphones, through empty streets, was apparently able to fool Google Maps into believing he was in the midst of a traffic jam. https://t.co/rQHonF5Lbk
— Neal Augenstein (@AugensteinWTOP) February 4, 2020
The plan was to check whether Google Maps could be tricked into navigating drivers to a different route, and by the looks of it, it worked like a charm.
The reason is that instead of using cameras like regular traffic monitoring systems do, Google’s traffic alerts use GPS data collected from mobile devices in order to calculate how many vehicles are in an area at a given time.
OMG: phone wagon traffic jam guy wasn't trying to 'hack Google Maps,' he was trying to show that "the map is not the territory" and “thus data are viewed as the world itself, forgetting that the numbers are only representing a model of the world” :swoon: https://t.co/8wHG1CBHif
— Kevin Webb (@kvnweb) February 3, 2020
The video was shared on Simon Weckert’s YoutTube channel, and people were quite impressed by it.
One person wrote:
“Wow what a hack, just realizing how Google maps works. You’re truly a genius.”
“Need to find the guy who does this in the 80% of the streets of my city.”
Check out the video by clicking below.
In all honesty, Google works well for most of the time, but this finding has shown that it’s not as perfect as people may have been led to believe.
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