Google Maps has brought a revolutionary change in the way we navigate the world. Google has made it better and better by adding new features and tools making it more than just an application for navigation and location. Recently, though, someone had the bright idea to “hack” Google Maps by creating virtual traffic jams using a wagon full of smartphones.
With so many changes, Google Maps also brought a new feature that shows the live condition of traffic on a route. When anything bad happens such as an accident or any construction work on a road, Google Maps changes the color of the affected road from green to either orange or red to show how bad the traffic is and, if things get bad enough, it will even find another route for its users.
To figure out how bad traffic is, Google uses other people with Maps to identify areas of heavy traffic or slow-moving traffic. The more people using Google Maps in one area, the worse the traffic probably is and, in turn, Google changes the color of the street to show that.
And that’s what turns out to be a weak point of Google Maps. Simon Weckert recently took advantage of that process with a “hack” – as he calls it – for Google Maps. To accomplish this, he loaded 99 smartphones into a wagon and turned them all onto Maps navigation. As he walked with the wagon on a street, Google recognizes the high concentration of “users” and the slow-moving “traffic” and marks that street as having bad traffic.
This is something prank with Google and other drivers using Google Maps as their navigation app. They might re-routed themselves to avoid traffic. Weckert even took the collection of smartphones right outside of Google’s Berlin offices to create the virtual traffic jam.
Below is a short video showing how he manipulated Google Maps with a wagon full of smartphones.
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