How Does Google Maps Show & Predict Traffic?


Simon Weckert conducted an experiment that hacked Google Maps. Here is how his experiment has led Google to uncover how does Google Maps show & predict traffic.

Written By Gunjan Shah | Mumbai | Updated On:
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Google Maps is an excellent service and is used by millions of people across the globe on a daily basis thanks to its on-point navigation features and realtime traffic predictions. However, due to an experiment that was conducted by Simon Weckert in Berlin, people started questioning how does Google maps show traffic. If you are also wondering about how does Google maps predict traffic; here is everything you need to know:

Also read: Artist 'fools' Google Maps, Creates Virtual Traffic Jam On Empty Streets

How does Google Maps show traffic?

If you are wondering how does Google Maps show traffic, it does it by segregating the comparatively busier streets with orange and red demarcations to let the users know that those routes have slow-moving traffic. Every person who uses a smartphone might have some time or the other used Google Maps to navigate themselves to someplace unfamiliar.

During the process, they might have noticed Google Maps suggesting the best route of travel while considering all the ways and the realtime traffic on those routes. In their travel routes, the places that are shown with an orange or red colour demarcation are the streets that have slow-moving traffic, and the roads that are blue or green in colour are comparatively faster.

Also read: Manchester City's Etihad Stadium Appears On Google Maps When 'Empty Seats' Is Searched For

How does Google Maps predict traffic?

To provide realtime traffic suggestions on its Google Maps service, Google has a few ways that it uses to predict traffic on the routes. For predicting traffic, Google Maps uses the Maps of other users to understand the situation of traffic and know whether it is slow-moving traffic or heavy traffic.

The higher number of people using Google Maps in a particular area, the higher possibility of Google Maps reading it as traffic, and also changing the colour to orange or red for highlighting it for other users. Thus, this answers how Google Maps’ traffic prediction works.

Also read: Google Maps To Locate Electric Vehicle Charging Stations By Plug Type

Simon Weckert’s experiment ‘hacks’ Google Maps

Recently, a person named Simon Weckert experimented on a less frequently used street in Berlin, and through the test, he created fake traffic in that route on Google Maps. Simon Weckert’s experiment hacked Google Maps’ method for predicting traffic and highlighted the flaw that Google Maps potentially has. His experiment also went viral on media and after the test, many people also got curious about how does Google predict traffic.

Also read: This Upcoming Google Maps Feature Will Help Users Avoid Streets With Poor Or No Lighting

Google’s reply to Simon Weckert’s experiment

Soon after Simon Weckert conducted his experiment, Google replied to him. Google said that no matter whether people use car, camel or cart, they love how people use Google Maps creatively and help them make the service better. They also mentioned how data for the service is refreshed thanks to all the various sources they acquire the information from including a bunch of users to have signed up to contribute to their development.

Google also made a quirky statement and highlighted how they have rolled out updates to help identify and differentiate between bikes and cars in India, Indonesia and Egypt. However, they mentioned how they have not been able to crack travel through wagons and carts yet.

Also read: Google Maps Tips, Tricks: How To Download Areas And Navigate Offline

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