Get lost with GeoGuessr

News Aaron Birch 13 May 2013 - 08:36

A game based on Google Maps has surfaced online, and it's a great time killer...

Everyone, no matter what their particular vocation, has killed time in the workplace by mooching around on Google Maps, especially since the impressive Street View was added to the service (well, impressive unless it sported you in your Birthday suit in your front room window). After the initial urge to go and look at your own house, a sight you see in the flesh every day, you soon begin to look for relatives' houses, your work place, and potential holiday destinations. It's inevitable, don't even try to fight it. In fact, I wonder just what the ratio of Google maps actual productive usage is to simply messing around because you're bored.

Well, thanks to developer, Anton Wallén, this geographic procrastination has become a little more challenging. GeoGuessr is a clever little game that uses the Google Maps engine to drop you in random places around the world at street level, tasking you with discovering where you actually are.

Using the basic Street View controls (locked at street level to stop cheating) you have to wander around the location, looking for clues such as vehicle types, street signs, landmarks and other notable sights. When you've got a good idea of where you are, you use the world map and put a pin on your location, as accurately as possible. You can then make a guess.

The game then shows you how close, or how far you were from the actual location, and gives you a score. Games take place over five rounds, and at the end you can upload your results to social media sites, which show all of your guesses and how far you were from the correct locations on a summary map.

It's a great diversion for people who have some time to kill, and would, no doubt, be a great tool for Geography teachers everywhere struggling to get their class interested in the subject. In a way, it's like a real world game of Myst, only without surreal landscapes or talking books. Well, I guess it depends on where in the world it drops you.

GeoGuessr - http://geoguessr.com/

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Disqus - noscript

good game, just scored 20,529!

mapcrunch is just as good. Turn on stealth mode, press go! You have to find an airport.

I'd like this more if it didn't keep plonking me down on roads in the middle of nowhere. You'd be surprised how much Nebraska looks like South Africa, or Australia, or Brazil. I'm not convinced it's random though - some locations keep coming round and round.

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