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Ever wondered how Google knows where there is a traffic jam?

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In earlier times, when we need to visit an unknown place, we have to take paper maps with us. But, Google Maps has certainly revolutionized our navigation technology, and even more impressive is their traffic update technology.

In just a click on app before leaving your house can save you a whole lot of traffic jams and re-routes. But, the question arises, how does the app manage to predict the traffic situation so accurately?

The answer might creep you out in case you already didn’t know about Google constantly spying on your location. Well, it’s technically not spying if you give them your consent, which is precisely what you do when you turn on the GPS feature on your device.

According to Business Insider, the company uses the Location Services function on Andriod and Apple devices to keep track of your coordinates at all time. This means you are sending real-time data about your location and whereabouts to Google all the time the GPS feature is enabled on your phone.

And it is this information that Google combines, along with everyone else’s data, to predict the number of cars on the roads and their speeds.

The relative values of “Not Moving,” “Moderate Traffic” etc. has been compiled after all the traffic information was used to create traffic history of the particular area.

It is this history that helps Google predict whether the traffic is running slower or faster than “normal.” Google Maps also uses information from the Waze app, which is updated by Departments of Transportation of a country helping Google pinpoint specific accidents and events on the road.

You can switch off the locations feature if it’s too freaky for you, but you better hope that everyone else doesn’t or you wouldn’t be able to use Google Maps traffic prediction.

Source: Wonderful Engineering

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