Map Jamming

Map jamming is a participatory intervention in navigation systems.

Visitors are invited to the gallery space and asked to open Google Maps on their smart phones. They are then asked to navigate to a pre-determined location. A hidden GPS device in the room hijacks all the smartphones in the gallery space. Even though the visitors are standing stationary, their phones appear to move on a highway.

 Google Maps uses this motion data from smart phones to determine the congestion level of road. Green means no traffic and red colors usually means delays. Through this activity, we are able to turn a green highway red. Thereby simulating heavy traffic conditions on Google maps, even though physically on the road nothing has changed. 

 As more and more people participate in this activity, we are able to strip the virtual layer that informs how we interact with our physical space.