Google’s rivalry with fellow tech giant Apple is typically a very understated affair, but that’s changed with the discovery of a hidden image on Google Maps. Tucked away in eastern Pakistan is a blatant dig at the iPhone maker in the form of a green Android robot relieving himself on the Apple logo.
The image itself is drawn out of the same map element used to designate forested areas, but it’s obvious that great care was taken in its creation. There’s no mistaking what the image is portraying, and it’s certainly not the result of any actual geographical feature.
Speaking to the Guardian, Google noted that it is well aware of the mischievous figure’s existence and has already removed it from Maps. You may still be able to visit the site and see the image thanks to the site’s cache system, but as far as Google is concerned, it’s already been erased.
While it’s certainly possible that a Google employee hid the jab himself, it’s much more likely that a mischievous user decided to have a little bit of fun with Google’s Map Maker tool.
Map Maker allows anyone to modify or add features to their local maps to make them more accurate, but the review policy for monitoring these edits obviously isn’t as strict as it probably should be—and you don’t have to look far for proof of that.
Nearby the scene of the Android bot taking a pee break is a message straight to Google itself. Venturing into Google Map Maker to find the culprit is a bit tricky, and since the discovery of the drawings there’s been a flurry of activity in the area, as you can see below.
However, one user in particular repeatedly shows up in the spot’s edit history and seems to have a habit of using the tool for fun, and nothing more.
The user is, as you could probably guess, anonymous, and has refused to upload a profile photo or provide any information about themselves. When sorted by age, this user has the oldest edits at the spot where the Android art appears, and in the hours since Google has been deleting new edits from the region, they have also repeatedly been writing “LOL” over the top of new reports.
We can’t say with utter certainty that this particular anonymous user is the person responsible for the original work, but they are most definitely the prime suspect.
Photo via Google Maps