German artist created virtual traffic jams in Google Maps. He drove a truck with 99 phones on the road

traffic jams in Google Maps

The author tricked Google’s algorithms to demonstrate the impact of virtual cards on the real world.

German performance artist Simon Weckert created a fake jam in the Google Maps application, transporting 99 phones in a cart across Berlin. The author spoke about this in his blog.

Vekert managed to make several streets red on Google Maps, convincing the app that nearly a hundred drivers were driving slowly on certain sections of the road. Real drivers avoided traffic jams, so the artist walked the streets almost alone. The author noted that he used used smartphones.

The artist believes that applications such as Google Maps have significantly changed the understanding of what a map is, how to interact with it, what its technological limitations are: “In this sense, Google Maps is virtually changing the real city.”

Weckert also noted that many applications, including Tinder and Airbnb, rely on this technology: “All these applications work in conjunction with Google Maps and create new forms of virtual capitalism. Without these cards, there wouldn’t be car sharing, Uber or bike rental systems.”

Virtual cards that mimic reality determine how we perceive the physical space and how we will act.

Simon Weckertartist
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