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Man With 99 Phones Tricks Google Maps to Create Fake Traffic Jam

It’s no secret that technology has dramatically changed our lives in more ways than we could fathom. Google Maps is just one innovation that has changed the way that we navigate. It’s certainly a far cry from the days of printing out directions on sites like Mapquest which, by the way, still somehow exists. If we go even further back, folks actually used paper maps to navigate. Imagine that!

If you’re ever bored, one functionality worth looking into is how Google maps uses data. For those interested in the background of technology, the service actually makes use of data for some pretty interesting features. For example, it obtains user averages in order to predict a more accurate estimated time of arrival. In turn, if it’s using the location of users in a traffic jam, the app will be able to relay that information to other users. This could be helpful by redirecting traffic to a new route. Essentially, it makes the most of the design of the roadways.

This time, though, we check out the use of Google Maps that’s unlike any other. Simon Weckert considers himself a performance artist and for his latest act, he would decide to play around with the structure of Google Maps. In essence, he used the app to create a fake traffic jam. As he wandered across the Spee River in Berlin, Weckert would have more than just a couple of cell phones. In fact, he would have a wagon filled with 99 phones, all running Google Maps.

As the phones crossed the bridge very slowly, the application would register this as traffic. Therefore, those watching the situation unfold on the Google Maps interface would recognize a traffic jam. You can call it art or you could call it trolling.

In any situation, it helps us to reflect on just how far technology has come and how some people get… uh, creative.