Berlin art/hackers F.A.T. Lab pwn Google Streetview car

The artists/hackers at @fffffat just tweeted, "WE JUST BUGGED A GOOGLE STREETVIEW CAR WITH A GPS TRACKER IN BERLIN." And lo, it appears they sure did. The map is here. (thanks Souris)


  1. “Come help us find and tell your friends about the evils being committed by Google’s streetviews car and crew.”

    Are they playing Google Deathrace again?

  2. Further evidence that the overlords at Google are involved in a Zionist conspiracy: the Streetview car has drawn a dreidel. In Berlin.

  3. While this is a great art project, done by an awesome group of artists, I hope you know that this car wasn’t a real Google Street View car, but provided by F.A.T. Lab themselves. (The hand-printed Street View sign on the door would be one of several indicators.) Google finished all the picture-taking about a year ago, in Berlin they took all the photos they needed back in July 2008 ( It’s a truly quite elaborate hoax, and obviously it was rewarded by being picked up by several media outlets including BoingBoing. Well done, F.A.T. Lab – not so well done, media…

    1. While you may be completely right, I would suspect that, just like the satellite imagery on the maps themselves, Streetview is updated occasionally. So to say that it couldn’t be a Google car because they already obtained the required data might not be a totally valid argument.

      Again, I don’t know all the details of the streetview program, but just a thought.

      1. Have any areas on StreetView been updated yet? I’m not sure they have. I think they are concentrating on rolling it out to new places first.

        1. I know they redid a bunch of major US cities with higher-def photography (quite a bit in LA that I noticed), but I don’t know about European cities.

          1. Ok, upping the res’ makes sense. It just doesn’t sound like something they’d be doing just to keep the images recent, beyond something like 5-10 year updates. I’d love to know what their long view for the whole service is.

          2. I’m curious about their long-term plans as well. Considering Berlin is one of the most rapidly changing cities in the world, I wonder how often they plan to update in order to keep things current.

            (Whoops, hit report rather than reply on your comment, btw)

  4. I’m not sure how this constitutes pwnage.

    Actually, I’m not even sure this is legal. Not that I expect anybody to really care, either Google or the artists. Just saying.

  5. Add me to the list of people unclear as to the type and degree of pwnage here.

    It’s really easy to see where Google Street View cars go. They’ve been everywhere you can see Google Street View on Google Maps.

    And it’s not like they’re hard to notice otherwise, what with the big camera sphere sticking out 4 feet above the car and driving around at a slow deliberate pace.

    Or is this some kind of German irony that I do not begin to understand?

    1. Yes we know where they go (mostly), but it would be kind of interesting to see the path that they take.

  6. “HA ha! We put a GPS tracker on a Google Street View car! You know, one of those highly visible cars with a big camera sphere, that drives around taking pictures, which then get posted online showing exactly where the car went? Now we’re TRACKING it! PWNAGE!! WE ARE SO 1337!!1!one!”

  7. the thing is, the fake street view car was parked outside the transmediale conference building where FAT Labs also showcased their stuff. And the sticker on the side looks suspiciously hand-printed ;) No, seriously, I like the project, but it’s a hoax, simple as that.

  8. Hoax. Or art project or whatever name you fancy. For starters, Google doesn’t take Streetview imagery during winter. Secondly, as has been pointed out, the Berlin imaging has been finished months (read: years) ago. And there is nothing to “update” by re-imaging in that regard, considering that Streetview hasn’t even been rolled out yet in Germany. Long story short, not Google got pwned, but the media outlets who willingly believed this story without checking their facts first.

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