People use Google maps to get to places that they have never been to, it’s a very simple and useful application that almost every Android or smartphone user has.
But as we all know, technologies may have bugs and errors, which leads a user to face difficulties in using the application.
Google Maps may have a bug after a user used a simple hack to create a fake traffic jam.
Simon Weckert, an artist based from Berlin, pulled a stunt and posted the video of his bizarre act on YouTube and his own website.
99 smartphones are transported in a handcart to generate virtual traffic jam in Google Maps. 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! #googlemapshacks https://t.co/3gixMxopE6 pic.twitter.com/6KcMm1XgAF
— Simon Weckert (@simon_deliver) February 1, 2020
In the video, Simon can be seen pulling 99 smartphones with their location turned on in a hand cart on City streets.
He even pulled the stunt outside the office of Google in Berlin.
Simon strolled through the cities in a very slow pace as the 99 smartphones were in the hand cart, this simple trick led Google to believe that there were a lot of vehicles in that street, but in reality, it was empty.
This simple trick placed red lines over the city, which means on Google Maps that there is a lot of traffic.
Google uses its location services on gathering information about how a person is moving throughout the city. If there are too many smartphones in one street, the application’s algorithm understands that the place is crowded.
The things that Google takes a look at include the speed at which they are moving, and the area’s the user has been through.
If the pace is slow and the users in the area are high, Google would suggest that there is a traffic jam in the street.
The video shows the streets on Google Maps gradually turning from green to maroon, which ment that there are a lot of vehicles in that specific street.
The navigation system of Google would then recommend the users to use other streets as the path that they would go through is filled with traffic.
Simon didn’t share any other details about the act.
In a statement that he released on his website, Simon said his main intention was to make changes in the physical world by using digital means.
Simon wrote on his website: “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.”
He also cited a journal article that was written by Morirtz Ahlert, an anthropologist, and said, “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.”
He added, “All of these apps function via interfaces with Google Maps and create new forms of digital capitalism and commodification,” the article continued.”
We hope Google would fix this issue as soon as possible.