Sneaker Net Strikes Back
Simon Weckert entitled his recent piece of performance art, ‘Google Maps Hacks’ and before you tune out completely you should consider the implications revealed by his wagon of old phones. He connected 99 secondhand smartphones to Google Maps and set them all to find the same route to a destination, which immediately convinced the servers that there was a traffic jam where his cart was and started routing people away from the streets he was on.
You could theoretically use this to manipulate traffic flow in your location, not that you actually should but it is definitely possible to do. A few people with phone carts could in theory shut down sections of a city to those who depend on Google maps to navigate, thus enabling you to get that road hockey tournament going. The Register reached out to Google for comment but as of yet they haven’t received a reply.
A German artist has had a bit of fun with Google Maps after tricking its free satnav service into displaying traffic jams – by walking around with a hand cart full of mobile phones.