Sunday, May 19, 2013

Waste Time Exploring the World

I love Google Street View. I've used it to wander around random places I'll never see in real life. I've used it to show students the places they migrated from 40 or 50 years ago. I've looked at places I lived in as a child. But this week I found a fun way to waste a lot of time, Geoguessr. It's a game that drops you somewhere in the Street View world, then you wander around to try and figure out where you are. Once you think you know, you click on a map to make your guess. A game consists of 5 rounds, and your score will be higher the closer you are to the correct spot.

There are all sorts of clues you can gather - what side of the road is the traffic on, are the speed limit notices in miles or kilometres, are the roads well-maintained, how big are the vehicles?
The type of vegetation helps, and if it is sunny you can check the direction of the shadows to work out if you are in the northern or southern hemisphere (you are told where North is). What do the people look like? As well as looking around, you can look up and down, which might reveal mountains behind the building in front of you. But the best clues come from signs. You can zoom in to look at them (but not if you play on an iPad, I'm told). What language are they in? The longer you spend exploring, the more likely you are to find a sign telling you the name of the place.

In my early games I was happy to guess somewhere in the right country, but soon I wanted to be more exact. Today I got my best score so far, 30971. If you want to try and beat that (play it a few times to get the hang of it first), follow this link to the challenge: Beat my best score.

And speaking of signs, today I saw this:
This is a tattooist you would not want to go to. Misspelt signs can be repainted, correcting tattoos might be more painful!

1 comment:

  1. When we were in Kentucky visiting Lexington, there was a sign up saying "Tattoos While You Wait".