Sunday, February 07, 2010

Tracking the Street View Car - Updated

Google Street Car in Berlin (NSFW)

The Free Art and Technology (F.A.T.) Lab in Berlin spotted a Google Street View car in Berlin and claim to have planted a GPS device on board. They then created this Google Map which apparently tracked the vehicle live as it drove around Berlin yesterday.

The map now just shows the track the car drove on Saturday, with map markers indicating the time it was at various locations. The map also contains one video of the car (which is NSFW as it contains a few choice words about Google).

The comments in the video seem to relate to 'F... Google', a F.A.T. project to promote "a collection of browser add-ons, open source software, theoretical musings and direct actions aimed at creating an awareness of the role Google plays in our daily lives."

Considering the F.A.T. stance it seems ironic that they used Google Maps to track the Street View car. Surely it would have made more sense for them to have used OpenStreetMap.

Update - I suspected that this might not be true. The Guardian have been in contact with Google who have confirmed that this was an art project using a fake Street View car.

Form a Google spokesperson,

"Just saw your piece on the GPS Street View car in Germany and wanted to let you know it was a hoax :-) . Free Art and Technology (F.A.T.) Lab is an art organization which recently used a fake Street View car as an art project in Berlin and claimed to have put a GPS tracking device on in to track its route. This car was not an official Google car, as we are currently not driving through Germany as there are not optimal weather and light conditions at this time of year. As soon as we'll restart driving you can find the driving schedule at http://www.google.de/streetview."

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