Artist Simon Wreckert fools the internet giant by making it look like there are 99 cars stuck in a traffic jam. Instead, it’s just him with 99 smartphones all logged into Google Maps creating fake traffic jams.
Artist Simon Wreckert tricked the app into thinking there was a huge traffic jam in Berlin. He used 99 smartphones all open on Google Maps, creating the virtual illusion that the roads were jam-packed.
Wherever he went, the map showed a thick red line meaning there was congested traffic. Even when it was just Simon walking down the street with 99 phones.
“By transporting the smartphones in the street I’m able to generate virtual traffic which will navigate cars on another route,” Wreckert said. “Ironically that can generate a real traffic jam somewhere else in the city.”
He’s got 99 smartphones…
Wreckert rented 99 android smartphones with cheap sim cards for his stunt. He walked for around an hour in each spot to create the impression of virtual traffic before moving onto a new spot.
There was a deeper message to Wreckert’s fake traffic jams, however.
“Data is always translated to what they might be presented. The images, lists, graphs, and maps that represent those data are all interpretations. And there is no such thing as neutral data. Data is always collected for a specific purpose, by a combination of people, technology, money, commerce, and government.”
So next time you look at Google Maps and see a traffic jam on Sheikh Zayed Road, it might make sense to double-check it’s not a fake one! Although, chances are it’s very, very real indeed.
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