Google Maps

Create a virtual traffic jam in Google Maps by dragging a cart full of phones:

Look, it's another prank with an artist statement: "questions relating to power in the discourse of cartography have to be reformulated."

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15 Responses:

  1. Lloyd says:

    that's also a good way to play a lot of Pokemon Go.

  2. Aardvark Cheeselog says:

    It's pretty small potatoes as vandalism goes, but somebody is confused about the difference between "making Art" and "breaking shit for the hell of it."

    • dcapacitor says:

      More people should take interest in art, if only to see what kind of art their taxes are being spent on. Somewhere someone has an art project the goal of which is to see how much funding they can get while producing absolute inane nonsense...

      I'm not sure this is art, or how it was funded, but it's an interesting experiment nevertheless. Google has imposed itself onto the population, I'm not seeing how messing with their shit is breaking some sort of a social contract.

      • jwz says:

        What socialist utopia do you live in where taxes are spent on art?

        • AntaBaka says:

          Europe, probably.

        • dcapacitor says:

          I live in the good old US of A, and I actually don't know if any of my taxes are spent on funding art (I include myself in the group of people who should take more interest in art, you see).

          I believe Great Britain and Italy both spend taxes on art, for example. There was an article a while time ago about some Brits getting upset because a play funded by public funds featured defecation on stage or something to that extent.

          • jwz says:

            My point is, it's a fucking rounding error. Don't be one of those people who is worried that the children of billionaires might willingly attend free state schools.

            • dcapacitor says:

              Oh no. I just think that for a lot of people it's actually a way to get involved in art. Artistic sensibilities are something we all share, yet it seems like art as an institution somehow got away from most folks. If questions about money can bring it back home, then so be it.

            • Nick Lamb says:

              It is a rounding error (too small to show up in the pie chart the Tories insist every tax payer be sent that shows them how much of "their" money is going on stuff they know their supporters erroneously believe only benefits other people and should be cut)

              But it does fund a bunch of cool stuff, François Delarozière's work (he's behind both the French outfit that made that giant mechanical spider and the other French outfit which made the giant little girl and her elephant and so on) doesn't make any sense without state-sponsored art. I guess maybe in America a huge corporation would find some excuse to pay for something like that, but more likely not or it'd be inside a theme park for paying audiences, in Europe it's almost invariably paid for by governments of one sort or another and so it's street art for everybody. There were no invitations to see the Sultan's Elephant, it was just there, in London, for tourists and residents alike to gawp at.

              Also I went to a free state school which is attended by very rich kids (I don't know if any of their parents were literally billionaires, especially back then) and the way that happens is pretty interesting.

              So England used to have selective state education, every child (outside the private education system) was assessed for academic ability at age 11 or so and then streamed into entirely separate state-funded schools (the names for these schools changed over the years but "Grammar school" was a popular name for the "high" stream) with the intent that one stream ends up studying heavy academic subjects and probably gets a degree, the other stream likely ends up in a blue collar job.

              There are lots of problems with this system, including that it doesn't seem to produce some of the expected desirable outcomes - and so it was abolished. Almost. In some areas selective education was incredibly popular and local politicians supported it despite national sentiment against it, and so a few pockets survive. I grew up in one of those areas, and by chance I happen to be exactly the sort of person this system most benefits, because I test well and my parents had no money.

              So at age 12 (because of different politics the age varied too) I was sent to High Wycombe's Royal Grammar School. RGS is "grant maintained" which means that the state gives them a pile of cash per pupil and so long as their assessments are good they do what they want. What they want, it turns out, is to turn around and tap rich parents for more money to buy stuff that grant won't afford and then run a school where they literally still teach Latin (to remember poor but apparently smart kids, as well as rich kids) and send lots of kids to Oxbridge every year.

              But why do rich parents send their boys (oh yeah it's single sex too) to RGS rather than, for example, to Winchester? Well the problem with a private school is that if you've spent your life spouting about socialism, as a good many rich British people have, then that's hypocrisy and will be called out as such by your peers, and by their peers. Ouch. Whereas if your son is smart enough, with a little bit of paid tuition maybe to get them over the line, you can ease your conscience and save money. You do not get rich by throwing money away. Winchester will ask you for maybe forty grand a year up front, but RGS will call you "generous" if you give them half that towards a new building project or something.

              Your son will have to mix with some kids who have never even been on a yacht, much less owned one, but that's probably good for them, and they'll also mix with the kids of other rich socialists which you're definitely sure is good for them.

              Having a broader talent pool gives RGS a big advantage in sports, in which it competes against mostly privately funded schools, by choosing to play sports that the privately funded schools prefer, think rugby not soccer, fencing not basketball, and so on. By the time sports activities were no longer mandatory and I could spend that time writing software, my peers were on golf courses, learning skills that would doubtless be valuable in their future lives as politicians or executives.

          • tygertgr says:

            Trump's upping the fed architecture game, fortunately. https://www.architecturalrecord.com/articles/14466-will-the-white-house-order-new-federal-architecture-to-be-classical

            All the great art was funded by rich gangsters (Medici, daimyou, etc) or religions. Shoving nation-state bureaucrat bucks into it has generally resulted in crap. I mean, I like John Phillip Sousa, but he's no Bach.

            The big question is why have deca-millionaires and billionaires given up on patronizing artists and funding art schools. They even seem incapable of finding good art to buy. That's how this used to work. They're busy flexing on each other doing utterly stupid nonsense like genetically engineered mosquitoes and vaccines. Albert Barnes got very rich, bought all the best art of the generation for a pittance (now worth hundreds of billions), and funded more art. He hated all his wealthy peers. It's hilarious to read his seething contempt for the American "elite". Why more modern rich guys aren't patterned like that is to me an interesting question. Why do they all have horrible taste?

    • ssl-3 says:

      Naw, bro. It's... it's just bullshit.

      Source: Have you ever seen the Live Traffic view on Google Maps update at this frequency that the maps are updated at?

      Because...neither have I. Because it doesn't update at even 1/10th that frequency.

      Maybe not even 1/100th.

      For anyone. Ever.

      (Unless, in other news: Freddy Kruger actually kills people in their dreams, despite having never existed in the first place.)

      • Joe Luser says:

        "actually". you're wrong. depending on the amount of traffic (ie, where there is almost none) maps updates in real time from very small samples. i've personally watched my car turn sections of red streets green, watched traffic jams around accidents on the freeway form and change the map colors as i was slowing to avoid, and created havoc (or more realistically, "havoc") on oakland streets with my bicycle. having a hundred would very likely have this effect, in my experience.

  3. thielges says:

    Another way of looking at this is the artist has performed a validation task for google. This little experiment highlights that the filter for raw input data should reject cases like this. Should be pretty easy given the precision of assisted GPS these days. 60 cars would have been spread out over a few hundred meters. All they need to do is to detect this “pile up” and count it as one car instead of 60. Same thing could occur in normal life with a bus load of people.

  4. Metarza says:

    My first thought was : how could this be used to blockade a community?

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