The Suitcase Lady


February 18, 2020, 8:54 pm

A monumental traffic jam was reported in Berlin recently causing warnings to be sent out on Google Maps. Drivers were given other routes to avoid the massive 99 car tie-up.

At the exact time the jam was noted, the actual street under notice was almost void of traffic. How could this be possible?

Credit one extremely creative artist and prankster named Simon Weckert. He states, “What I am interested in generally is the connection between technology and society and the impact of how it shapes us…I have a feeling right now that technology is not adapting to us, it’s the other way around.”

So Mr.Weckert set out to put humans back in charge. He created a Google hack by putting 99 cell phones, all with location apps on, in a little red wagon. Then he slowly walked down a street that had very sparse traffic, a street that was not coincidentally the one where Google’s Berlin offices are located.

His plan worked brilliantly. After a short while, the bright red warning line appeared on Google maps and his faux traffic nightmare was noted as reality.

Google responded with humor. “We’ve launched the ability to distinguish between cars and motorcycles…though we haven’t quite cracked traveling by wagon…We appreciate seeing creative uses for Google maps like this as it helps us make maps work better over time.”

I have two thoughts on this art happening. First, there is hope that a human still can occasionally outwit a computer. And second, the Google employees in Berlin should occasionally look out their windows.

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