A man tricked Google Maps by creating a virtual traffic jam with 99 smartphones.
2 years ago
A man named Simon Weckert tricked Google Maps by creating a virtual traffic jam on an empty road. Simon Weckert is a YouTuber who performed this easy trick to hack Google Maps. He put 99 smartphones in a cart and roamed the cart along with him on the streets of Berlin. Google Maps shows traffic status by tracking the GPS in smartphones and vehicles.
Berlin-based Simon Weckert posted a video of this experiment to his YouTube account. The video shows him placing 99 smartphones in a small cart and circling in front of Google’s office and some streets in Berlin. With 99 smartphones in his hand cart running in slow motion simultaneously, Google Maps showed traffic jams along the way, while the route was completely empty at that time.
In the video description, Simon wrote” 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 to avoid being stuck in traffic”.
A spokesperson from Google also responded to this situation with 9to5google.com “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. Traffic data in Google Maps has refreshed continuously thanks to information from a variety of sources, including aggregated anonymized data from people who have location services turned on and 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. We appreciate seeing creative uses of Google Maps like this as it helps us make maps work better over time”
This experiment shows that Google Maps can easily be tricked with some manipulations.