Google Maps ‘hacked’! Artist uses 99 smartphones to create virtual traffic jams; Watch video

By: |
February 04, 2020 5:51 PM

Launched on February 08, 2005, Google's navigation app - Google Maps - provides satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, realtime traffic, route planning, etc.

The entire incident took place outside Google's office in Berlin. (Image: Simon Weckert/blog)The entire incident took place outside Google’s office in Berlin. (Image: Simon Weckert/blog)

We often use Google Maps to trace a location or to navigate to our destination. When we are stepping out of our homes or on our way to work or to any trip, we use the app the know the traffic-free routes to our destination and to plan our commutes. But recently, the otherwise trustworthy navigation app, was hacked by a clever trick by a German artist named Simon Weckert.

In a video posted on Youtube, Weckert showed how he ‘hacked’ Google’s navigation app with 99 smartphones. In the video, Weckert can be seen walking on the road with 99 mobile phones in a small hand-pulled cart. While walking through the streets, he had Google Maps running on all the 99 smartphones. During his movement from one place to another with the navigation app being activated, Google sensed that too many users were on the spot and acknowledged the slow-moving traffic in the area. After acknowledging the traffic, Google showed on its map that the entire street had too many vehicles and there was a traffic jam on the street. Hence, the entire road was shown as congested, when it was actually not. The entire incident took place outside Google’s office in Berlin, Germany.

In his blog titled ‘Google Maps Hacks’, Weckert said that through this activity it is possible for one to create a virtual traffic jam on Google Maps. He further added that through the above-mentioned hack, one can easily turn a green street (free of traffic) on Google Maps to red (with busy traffic), as it has an impact in the real world when people navigate their vehicle to avoid long queues on the roads.

Launched on February 08, 2005, Google’s navigation app – Google Maps – provides satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, realtime traffic, route planning, etc.

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