Raise your hand if you remember that show and game? I do! I would play the computer game all the time at my elementary school. Well, that and Oregon Trail.
Recently, I have come across a game online that is very fun! This game, if it doesn’t make me seem like my Daddy’s daughter, I don’t know what will!
It is called geoguessr.com and it is super fun and addicting.
The point is to look at different pictures and sceneries from Google Earth and guess where in the world you are.
You can rotate the panoramic view, and scroll through it, just as you can on Google Earth. Then, on the map right above “Make Guess,” you click on where you think it is. You can scroll in further to make a more specific guess. Then, it will show your guess as compared to the correct place. It will tell you how many kilometers away you were and give you points based on that. There are 5 rounds, then it will show you a map comparing all 5 guesses to all 5 correct locations. My first round looked a little something like this:
The red is your guess and the green is the correct answer…not so great.
Now, how does this make me my father’s daughter? Well, my dad is a huge geocacher. He is a GPS-using treasure hunter, basically. He loves messing with GPS’s and Google Earth. One of his favorite gifts is his Garmin Watch so he can track his runs on Google Earth as well.
I took World Geography in 8th grade…that is about 10/11 years ago for me. But, it is still one of the best grade school classes I ever took. I learned about weather and earth formations. I learned the names of countries. I learned a little about the history and culture of all the people there. Honestly, I think that 8th grade World Geography was the beginning of my path to become a cultural historian–I won my school’s National Geography Bee that year, for crying out loud! But, I also learned to read physical maps, recognize physical characteristics of places, and use context clues in primary sources (news articles, pictures, etc) to determine where something was.
I started using those tools again with this game. Taking my time, going up and down roads, looking at the vegetation, the horizon, the sky, seeing the people in the pictures, looking at billboards, street signs, etc (all license plates are blocked out, but not highway signs for some odd reason). I kept getting better and better.
Here is my best score so far (keep in mind that they never repeat a scene and I do not use any maps or other websites to help me…this is all intuition based on what knowledge I have–I promise!):
Pretty good, huh? In a previous round, I had a city in South Korea. My guess was 3.5 km away! But this round, look at C. It was in Chicago. It was the shiny, Cloud Gate statue in Millennium Park. Now, I have never been to Chicago, but I have blogger friends who have. So, I immediately knew where it was. I zoomed and zoomed and zoomed in on Chicago till I saw parks (I didn’t which park it was in at the time). What euphoria to know I knew exactly where on Google Earth I was and to see my score saying I was only 2km from the Cloud Gate! What fun!
But more than showing off geography skills, I like this game because it allows you to explore the world. You can see different towns and hamlets, different wide open roads, beaches, cities, highways, nature from all over. It is beautiful and fun.
I definitely recommend playing geoguessr.com at least once! Give it a shot! And blogging teacher friends: if you ever teach geography, what a fun idea! Have a challenge in your class! Offer extra credit if they get a better score than you!