Performance Artist Uses 99 Smartphones to Create Fake Traffic on Google Maps

  • Performance Artist Uses 99 Smartphones to Create Fake Traffic on Google Maps

Performance Artist Uses 99 Smartphones to Create Fake Traffic on Google Maps

Some would say the performance reveals the possibility of a more risky situation where Google Maps could be manipulated to divert traffic for objective of malice. If you are thinking that it will take knowledge of programming or hacking to deceive Google Maps in this way, you are wrong, "just" you will need 99 smartphones and a cart. When Maps notices a huge chunk of smartphones in a particular area that are stationary or are moving slowly, it marks those streets as traffic jams.

Simon Weckert, who specializes in technology-related works, performed an experiment in which he attempted to generate a virtual traffic jam in Google Maps. Google Maps did what it does to identify traffic and interpreted it as traffic congestion.

A Berlin-based artist Simon Weckert manipulated Google Maps to show heavy traffic on empty streets and roads.

Google's response further stated that Google Maps traffic data is being refreshed continuously its information from a variety of sources, which includes aggregated anonymous data from users that have location services enabled and also contributions from the Google Maps community.

"We've launched the ability to distinguish between cars and motorcycles in several countries including India, Indonesia and Egypt, though we haven't quite cracked travelling by wagon", the representative said. Using Google Maps to get real-time traffic updates is one of the best features we can have, but a simple hack was used to trick Google Maps' nifty feature.

In his statement, Weckert cited a journal article by the German anthropologist Moritz Ahlert: "Google's map service has fundamentally changed our understanding of what a map is, how we interact with maps, their technological limitations, and how they look aesthetically".

"Maps have the potential as an instrument of power". They say that scenery viewing points in Iceland frequently seem to be congested by traffic, while in reality, drivers tend to slow down or stop in parking lots to enjoy the outlook.

It would be interesting to see if the same "hack" can be used in reverse.