Some friends have been telling me about this online geography game called GeoGuessr. It’s basically the electronic equivalent of getting kidnapped, blindfolded, and dropped in the middle of nowhere. Except it’s way more fun than that! It’s all done with Google Maps’ Street View. You drop in at some random point. Then you have to figure out where and pinpoint your location (as near as possible) to score as many points as possible.
After a long, boring week quarantined at home — I checked the site out today and created a profile. Honestly, I’m still not sure what having “Friends” on GeoGuessr means. But in case any of you reading this are GeoGuessr regulars, hit me up and we can be geography nerd friends! I still have a lot to learn. In particular, I’m curious to know if there are certain protocols or “codes of honor” when it comes to GeoGuessr.
For instance, one of my first rounds dropped me in a place that I’ve actually visited previously. I could tell it was somewhere near the Wisconsin Dells, based on some of the billboards and businesses featured on signage. So I was able to zero in on a particular section of the North American continent pretty easily. And then I used road signs and crossing road signs to get a more specific idea of where I stood. I eventually found my location on the map. However, I made my official guess the place where I was at the moment I figured it out. (It’s actually supposed to be at the place where I first got dropped). Some rookie mistakes, but I’m guessing all that was all above board.
But for another round, I could tell that I was in a more dense urban area. It felt like the East Coast because of some of the businesses I saw. Still, I didn’t know exactly where. I eventually noticed signs for realtors and noticed that their area codes were consistent. So, I used my iPad to do a Google search for “area code 732,” which narrowed things down to the New Jersey suburbs of Philadelphia. A little later, I saw a uniquely named business called The Galleria at Marlton. So I did another search through the Maps app on my iPad for “The Galleria at Marlton,” and that helped me to see which section of the suburbs I was in currently. From there, I could then retrace my steps back to the place where I was originally dropped. I put the pin in place there and got a good score.
But, is that considered an honorable solve? Or is that cheating? I honestly don’t know!
In any event, it’s fun to get dropped in unusual places. It’s fun to problem-solve by looking for the tiniest details for clues. Kind of the perfect game for someone stuck in quarantine!