If you thought that navigation applications such as Waze, Google Maps or Mappy were never wrong. This has just been questioned by a Berlin artist who managed to fool the Silicon Valley giant. How did he manage to fool the Silicon Valley giant? By causing a huge traffic jam in the heart of Berlin, on Google Maps. A traffic jam that was just a decoy. Find out how he did it.
The habits of thousands of users turned upside down
Today, real-time navigation applications are an integral part of the daily lives of millions of people around the world. On the lookout for the best tricks to get around slowdowns, users swear by Waze, Google Maps, Apple Maps and Mappy. Based on their users’ geolocation data, their powerful routing algorithms are able to determine the state of traffic. As the density and number of connected users increases, traffic will then be considered dense. Indeed, according to the Google Maps system, one user is equivalent to one car. From this observation came the idea to the young Berlin artist, Simon Weckert.
99 smartphones and it’s all done on Google Maps
Called “Google Maps Hacks”, the principle was simple: Stroll through the streets of Berlin carrying 99 used smartphones on a small handcart. In ON navigation mode, it managed to generate virtual traffic jams on Google Maps. As explained by Simon Weckert on his website, the goal was to illustrate the “impact in the physical world” of this type of application. This worked very well, guiding other users on different routes.
As pointed out by the German artist, “It is possible to turn a green street red”. Also adding that “Google Maps brings virtual changes to the real city such as Airbnb on the housing market and their mobility culture, for example. “To close this article, and given that a “picture” is worth a thousand words, please find below the video of his experience. A video that has already had more than 300,000 views in 2 days.