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An Artist Used 99 Phones to Fake a Google Maps Traffic Jam

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May Day

Positivity     44.00%   
   Negativity   56.00%
The New York Times
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Brian Barrett With his "Google Maps Hack," artist Simon Weckert draws attention to the systems we take for granted—and how we let them shape us.Almost three years ago, artist Simon Weckert noticed something unusual at a May Day demonstration in Berlin: Google Maps showed there was a massive traffic jam, even though there were zero cars on the road. “We appreciate seeing creative uses of Google Maps like this as it helps us make maps work better over time.” The company also notes that while it has figured out how to distinguish between cars and motorcycles, it does not yet have any way to filter for Weckert’s setup.Weckert is not the first person to fool Google Maps, and there are more high-tech ways than renting out dozens of smartphones to accomplish the same goal. But he also explored another layer of Google’s influence, by marching his cart in front of the company’s headquarters in the city.“If you stand in front of it, you wouldn’t realize it’s Google headquarters,” says Weckert. The crucial question is what will it make of the neighborhood,” says Weckert, who worries that rent and cost of living will increase.Weckert has explored the nexus of digital and physical in his previous work, including a look at how Google Maps draws different borders depending on where you live—and what your government prefers.

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