Man Uses 99 Phones To Create Fake Google Traffic Jam Alert
Using nothing but a red cart and 99 second-hand phones, a man 'hacked' Google Maps and caused a massive fake traffic jam.
Simon Weckert created the traffic jam on a bridge in The Spree in Germany, but it only existed on Google Maps.
Pulling a small red cart full of mobile phones, he was filmed dawdling down Berlin's empty streets as part of his artwork titled 'Google Maps Hacks'.
The phones all had their location services switched on and so they reported back to Google that there was a huge backlog of slow-moving vehicles.
The Berlin artist said by slowly wheeling the cart full of phones he was able 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."
Citing an article by German anthropologist Moritz Ahlert, Weckert said Google Maps has “changed our understanding of what a map is, how we interact with maps, their technological limitations, and how they look aesthetically".
“Maps, which themselves are the product of a combination of states of knowledge and states of power, have an inscribed power dispositive," he said.
A Google spokesperson said the company was amused by the artist's hacking of their maps.
“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," the spokesperson said.
It's not the first time Google Maps has been hacked by pranksters and artists.
In 2015, Google's Map Maker had to be deleted after a virtual park was created in the shape of their logo urinating on Apple's trademark.
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