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May 9, 2013 12:21 PM   Subscribe

GeoGuessr: 1. Look around the random Google Street View and try to figure out where you are. 2. Click the world map to guess! A game by Anton Wallén.
posted by oulipian (246 comments total) 109 users marked this as a favorite

 
Apparently I should just take the antipode of each of my guesses.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:27 PM on May 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


Oh fun, my first few were off by a few thousand miles (thanks Canada) but I just missed one by 39 km in England. I may never get that close again!
posted by TwoWordReview at 12:27 PM on May 9, 2013


Wow, that is fun. Also, I am terrible at geography.
posted by jbickers at 12:28 PM on May 9, 2013


Okay so after incorrectly identifying Australia as various other non-Australian places (which pretty much guarantees terrible scores); I got a place in Brazil within 100 km. I feel awesome.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:30 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


10,003
posted by mullacc at 12:31 PM on May 9, 2013


This is absurdly fun. 12143 is my current high score.

I had one for .43km in Brazil. Cement mixer had a .br domain on it, and behind that was a construction permit sign for new development in Porto de something. Pretty easy to scan the coast for big cities matching.
posted by ish__ at 12:31 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Are the locations preselected? I got a spot where there was a big sign saying not only the name of the town, but providing a map of where exactly it was in Australia. (I guessed within 1km.) That's an astonishing coincidence if this is random!
posted by Clandestine Outlawry at 12:32 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Clandestine: I think they must be, because I got the same location twice on more than one occasion.
posted by oulipian at 12:33 PM on May 9, 2013


So basically I am going to keep doing this until I die.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:37 PM on May 9, 2013 [27 favorites]


Best score of 9812 so far, and no Googling signs either.
posted by jaduncan at 12:38 PM on May 9, 2013


Is it just me or are like 40% of these in Australia?
posted by shakespeherian at 12:40 PM on May 9, 2013 [17 favorites]


It's like waking up from an alcoholic binge/blackout without any of the social cost!
posted by jaduncan at 12:40 PM on May 9, 2013 [12 favorites]


6863, but it took me half the game to realize I could zoom in the map and make a granular selection, versus just selecting a continent.

Great post, thanks for sharing this.
posted by davejay at 12:41 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh totally, shakespeherian. If I don't have a good guess, I'll just blindly click somewhere in Australia. It works more often than not.
posted by troika at 12:41 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was wondering about the pre-selection possibility, too, as certain non-personally identifiable information was obscured in some of the pictures I got. Stuff like public signs, which I didn't think Google bothered to pixelate. (No googling signs, definitely using them for language cues, 11199)

Hey, no fair, quit hogging all the Australian ones, shakespeherian!
posted by EvaDestruction at 12:41 PM on May 9, 2013


12480 points, my first two were Brazil (I said Portugal) and Bulgaria (I said Greece,) then I was on a roll! Gun Lake, Michigan, Miami Beach and just outside of Moose Jaw, spots I have been and recognized!
posted by Floydd at 12:41 PM on May 9, 2013


Ah man, I got one that I've actually been to and I still guessed wrong (both in Ireland but wrong town)
posted by TwoWordReview at 12:42 PM on May 9, 2013


I love it. And I think I deserve more points because the miles between my guess of just south of Naples and the actual site on Sardinia were all over water.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:43 PM on May 9, 2013


There was one that was inside someone's room. Serious - bed, walls, little table with coffee mug. Spinning around let me look out a little window onto some snowy fields and mountains, so I guessed Colorado, but it was in Ukraine somewhere. How they got the car into the dude's bedroom, I dunno.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:43 PM on May 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


Ha I just got one where you can clearly see the street signs at the intersection. So basically now I just have to find a residential area in the US where Elmtree intersects with Lake Drive.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:44 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Slap*Happy, sounds like you found a photosphere!
posted by dobi at 12:45 PM on May 9, 2013


There was one that was inside someone's room. Serious - bed, walls, little table with coffee mug. Spinning around let me look out a little window onto some snowy fields and mountains, so I guessed Colorado, but it was in Ukraine somewhere. How they got the car into the dude's bedroom, I dunno.

Yeah, I had one in Japan that was inside a seemingly abandoned building. There was no hole where they could have driven the car through the wall, although it kind of looked like it other than that.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:45 PM on May 9, 2013


This is exactly the type of game that can suck me in FOREVER. Love this.
posted by urbanlenny at 12:46 PM on May 9, 2013


WHAT BUSINESS DOES NEW ZEALAND HAVE LOOKING JUST LIKE ECUADOR
posted by shakespeherian at 12:46 PM on May 9, 2013 [15 favorites]


My favourite are the ones where you're just in the middle of nowhere. No signs or cars, just a road for kilometres and kilometres.
posted by pmv at 12:47 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is pretty fun. I was almost certain I was in some English town until I noticed a newsstand which carried The Herald Sun.
posted by cazoo at 12:47 PM on May 9, 2013


11252. I doubt I'll get a better score than that (got a location in Seoul within 6.5 km and then my final selection - the third one from Yukon in that round - helpfully had "Dawson City General Store" prominently on display, so that helped.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:48 PM on May 9, 2013


38 KM! I'd like to thank Brittany for being pretty much the only place you'll see a building labeled "Librarie Celtique"
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:49 PM on May 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


7000 or so. Mistook Florida for California (it looked way too dry to be Florida), and apparently I can't tell the difference between Australia or anywhere else without a visible Australian flag. I'm proud of getting "in New Mexico near the Mexican border", though. Was only off by about 70 km there.
posted by wanderingmind at 12:50 PM on May 9, 2013


On one I saw a sign for Port of East London, and it turned out to be South Africa. YOU TRICKED ME GEOGUESSR!!!
posted by slogger at 12:50 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


this is flippin brilliant!
posted by moss free at 12:50 PM on May 9, 2013


Missed the first one by a couple of continents (Ukraine instead of Brazil) but got back on track by nailing the next to 0.891 km ("Terrigal Surf Rescue" was a bit of a giveaway). 11k. Love this!
posted by N-stoff at 12:51 PM on May 9, 2013


Ok Mangongui Fish Shop if you were really "World Famous" I bet I could find you on a map.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:51 PM on May 9, 2013 [8 favorites]


12651! Good fun.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:51 PM on May 9, 2013


... the ones where you're just in the middle of nowhere.

But the interesting thing is that you're never actually nowhere. The mere fact that a Google cam-car drove down a road that must have been laid out by people rules out actual nowhere. And people always leave traces. There was one where the only distinctive thing I could find was the shape and curve of the columns holding up the streetlights. I didn't recognize it as Australian, but it ruled out a lot of places I have lived.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:52 PM on May 9, 2013


oh god strip mall after strip mall

i could be literally anywhere white people have set foot
posted by shakespeherian at 12:54 PM on May 9, 2013 [8 favorites]


I love how SURE I was that some seaside place was in the US and thought I was so smart paying attention to which side the ocean was on and then it turned out it was the eastern coast of Australia rather than the west coast of North America.

This is the type of game I would want people to play at parties forever (so interesting, so much reason for debate and discussion, also just sort of dumb luck) and if you don't agree, you should probably never come to a party that I throw.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:55 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


My closest was within 0.006 km, but only gave 3172 pts. (It helped that it was a clearly marked highway intersection)
posted by rocket88 at 12:56 PM on May 9, 2013


I was plonked down in front of a trailer bearing the word "James Talcott Construction, Great Falls, Montana". I hit it in less than 2km. Sadly my total score was only 11,398 as I mistook New Zealand for Australia and Colombia for Mexico.
posted by Jehan at 12:58 PM on May 9, 2013


If you don't cheat by googling landmarks, this calls on an interesting array of knowledge and mad deductive skillz.

And interesting to be reminded how much parts of say, rural South Africa, Florida and Australia could look alike, minus the signs.

BTW by my fifth try I was still at bagel***. I googled and saw that a certain auto dealer was in a certain Kansas town. But I still didn't get credit cos I didn't put the little red thingy exactly over the intersection. Bah.

(*** In my defense, I'm trying to sneak a peek at this at work.)
posted by NorthernLite at 12:59 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man, I love to play guess-where-I-am when watching COPS.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 12:59 PM on May 9, 2013


I thought it was in Bermuda, turned out to be in the Ogasawara Islands, which I now want to visit. (oh, yeah, of by 15000 km. Isn't that half the Earth's circumference?)
posted by benito.strauss at 12:59 PM on May 9, 2013


12014

Benefited from a pic of Sicily that looked super Sicilian.

And everyone knows you can rotate your viewpoint?
posted by Keith Talent at 12:59 PM on May 9, 2013


Yeah this is definitely making me want to go on vacation.

Well, not when I got set down next to "the Big Winch" in Australia. The winch might be cool, but it looked kind of hellish.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:00 PM on May 9, 2013


Oh I get it now...you get total points after so many games! I thought you people were getting 12,000 for one guess. I totalled 11,174
posted by rocket88 at 1:01 PM on May 9, 2013


12271 Second one had a Millford Sound Tour bus in it. Off by .53 km.

Apparently Alaska and Alberta look the same to me.

With two locations in Australia, two in the US and one in NZ, I guess I just need to stick to the former colonies.
posted by Hactar at 1:01 PM on May 9, 2013


What's the official ruling on driving around until you see something? I wandered around a bit and found a "Discover Tasmania" bus that just helped me out a ton.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:02 PM on May 9, 2013


What is everyone's worst guess? I just got one wrong by 17654.997km (it was Australia, I guessed Nova Scotia). It gave me 30 points.
posted by oulipian at 1:02 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've had a 100 pointer where I mistook Italy for Australia.
posted by TwoWordReview at 1:04 PM on May 9, 2013


*sitting by mailbox, waiting for invitation to MCMikeNamara's next party*
posted by EvaDestruction at 1:05 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Are we sure this is not funded by the Australian Tourist Council?
posted by neroli at 1:06 PM on May 9, 2013 [9 favorites]


I was sure I recognized one of them as being in Scotland, but turned out to be Latvia
posted by iamsuper at 1:08 PM on May 9, 2013


I was off by 14950 km. Half-way around the Earth is 20,000 km, but most land is antipodal to water, so you're unlikely to reach that.

(Wondering why it's such a nice round number of kilometers? It's because the original definition of the meter was 1/10,000 of the distance from the equator to the pole.)
posted by benito.strauss at 1:08 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


11,782. Being plunked down with the camera facing a giant "MELBOURNE VISITOR'S CENTER" did help.
posted by cjelli at 1:09 PM on May 9, 2013


I mistook the Yukon for South Africa. 52 points.
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:09 PM on May 9, 2013


Half-way around the Earth is 20,000 km, but most land is antipodal to water, so you're unlikely to reach that.

Haha, actually you can guess the middle of the ocean if you want to. It would be fun to try to guess the antipode and be off by 20,000km.
posted by oulipian at 1:11 PM on May 9, 2013


10876 -- I'm still kicking myself for mistaking Florida for California on the last one.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 1:11 PM on May 9, 2013


And I think it's pre-determined to a degree, because I just got the Melbourne Visitor Centre a second time, which seems unlikely if it's completely random.
posted by cjelli at 1:11 PM on May 9, 2013


Also, listen up, The Learning Channel from 5-10 years ago. Make a game show out of this. I would love to watch a geographical Ken Jennings point out that "this tree puts you in Africa", or "street signs like this are a sure sign of the Austro-Hungarian Empire".
posted by benito.strauss at 1:11 PM on May 9, 2013 [8 favorites]


Everything looks like Texas.
posted by PuppyCat at 1:14 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


11623! I surprised myself on a couple of these. The won were I was most off was where I picked the wrong side of Canada.
posted by fuzzywuzzysock at 1:14 PM on May 9, 2013


You got 12676 points in total.

posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 1:14 PM on May 9, 2013


Scoring system seems kind of wacky. My first guess was about 1000 miles off, and gave me about 2000 points. My next guess was about one football field off, and gave me 3000 points.
posted by Flunkie at 1:15 PM on May 9, 2013


And I think it's pre-determined to a degree, because I just got the Melbourne Visitor Centre a second time, which seems unlikely if it's completely random.

I got plopped down right in front of the lighthouse in Peggy's Cove, NS, which is pretty popular with tourists and makes me suspect that it was chosen deliberately.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:16 PM on May 9, 2013


This is great. The surf graffiti in English definitely threw me off from the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, but I could tell it seemed vaguely "other side of the pond"-ish so I guessed Portugal. And the next one was a bridge I've driven over many times, about 50 miles north of here.
posted by ElGuapo at 1:17 PM on May 9, 2013


I'm weirdly okay at this. I think. My first game I got 10,467.
posted by item at 1:20 PM on May 9, 2013


This is fun and addictive!

Attempt 1: 15825
Attempt 2: 15927

I better get some work done today!
posted by phoebus at 1:22 PM on May 9, 2013


15k? I hope you googled signs (I did and got 13220)
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:23 PM on May 9, 2013


13402 here. Has anyone understood how you are supposed to share your results?
posted by MessageInABottle at 1:23 PM on May 9, 2013


I was pretty impressed with myself when I got it in the right general area of Australia on the first one, then I lost a lot of points because I foolishly assumed that I wouldn't get two Australian sites in a row. Stupid Croydon. And then I randomly guessed Australia for the 3rd one, since there wasn't really anything to go on, but that was Canada. Then I got some random road train stop in Australia again. I guessed Czech Republic instead of Poland for the last one.
posted by ckape at 1:25 PM on May 9, 2013


Okay, 13,586 and I think I've hit my ceiling. Two of them that round were less than a kilometer off (presuming that using some detective work isn't cheating at this) and the worst was choosing Okinawa instead of a pinpoint island a little ways off from Okinawa.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:25 PM on May 9, 2013


So I got plopped down at an intersection with some good signs, one showing Tykocin to the left on 671, another with Knyszyn to the right on 671, and a smaller one showing Ruda 3 km away. I managed to relocate the exact intersection on Google maps (after a quick Wikipedia to find what part of Poland to look in.) It's odd feeling "it's good to be back" about a place I've never been.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:28 PM on May 9, 2013


I love this game!

Pro tip: if the picture is from a sunny day, you can generally figure out which hemisphere you're in using Google's compass rose!
posted by Tsuga at 1:30 PM on May 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


I got one which on a completely nondescript rural highway. But, two clicks (heh) down the highway, there was one of those temporary election signs for a county commissioner for Klickitat County -- 16km.
posted by mhum at 1:30 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


The resolution on views from Oklahoma seem to be pretty terrible.
posted by TwoWordReview at 1:31 PM on May 9, 2013


TIL that in Australia Mobil stations have hotels sometimes.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:32 PM on May 9, 2013


Today I learned that parts of Australia look just like the pine/palmetto scrub in the southeastern US.

Which completely murdered my score.
posted by cmyk at 1:33 PM on May 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have to stop playing this. It's a cruel reminder that if you pick a random spot on our planet there's a wildly excellent chance that it's more interesting than where I currently live.

sometimes I really love you North Texas, but not right now
posted by item at 1:34 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


So looking around the compass is OK but moving is cheating?
posted by shothotbot at 1:34 PM on May 9, 2013


The difference between a superb guess and a mediocre one isn't nearly enough points.
posted by Justinian at 1:35 PM on May 9, 2013


I got within 10 km of one! I recognized the road because of a recent holiday.
posted by dhruva at 1:36 PM on May 9, 2013


First score: 10039, because I mixed up Canada with Macau. (Yes, I realize this is hard to do, but there was a place called Deh Cho Bridge, and I'd never heard of that, and it sounded Asian, and I figured there weren't many Asian places with lots of ongoing construction + English language signage.) I was at least in the right country (and right state/province) on the other four questions.

Why is it called Deh Cho?
posted by brina at 1:37 PM on May 9, 2013


12073, and the biggest problem I had was the damn target map was too imprecise. There were a couple of places I knew exactly where I was. Y'all doing better than that must be haxxorz.

OK, there are places in the North American West where New Mexico, Wyoming and central Canada look really really similar, but at least I wasn't off by geographical type.

As far as detective work goes, I did have to confirm which side of the road the Japanese, Koreans, and Australians drive on. And on one photo, there was a truck delivering party supplies that said "Florida Keys" on it. And the Pemberton General Store, I recognized Australia, so confirming that Pemberton Australia is a place, I don't think that's cheating.

Damn, though I like this game.

Side note: I found out where my wife's (now my ex-wife) boyfriend lived by knowing the approximate age of the window frames (late 50's) in a picture someone posted on Facebook, then doing a quick regression analysis of the ages of development in our home town, and checking the few blocks that had that building type and age, and color. Oddly enough, my stalker-ish obsession evaporated as soon as I confirmed it. No I didn't do anything weird or bad, and in fact I thank him for being the catalyst that eventually saved my life.
posted by Xoebe at 1:39 PM on May 9, 2013


OHHH! YOU CAN ZOOM IN THE MINI MAP. Ok, it's on now...
posted by Xoebe at 1:40 PM on May 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


My rule is I can move just far enough to get a closer look at anything I can see from the place I start. I just saw a road sign, goggled the town, and clicked Netherlands, expecting a high score.

I was in South Africa.
posted by COD at 1:41 PM on May 9, 2013


There's a Wellington in Australia!! Foiled again.
posted by TwoWordReview at 1:41 PM on May 9, 2013


Why is it called Deh Cho?
I am amused by how hard it is to answer this. It doesnt seem to be on the official site or the wikipedia entry.
posted by shothotbot at 1:44 PM on May 9, 2013


Pretty funny how quickly this game takes your attitude from "wow it's amazing how Google has incredible photographic coverage of like the entire planet" to "dammit it's not high res enough"
posted by Perplexity at 1:44 PM on May 9, 2013 [19 favorites]


.19km is still less than 4000 points. But I only know this because I navigated around a little bit, found a building with a name on it, searched for the name, found their web site, put their address into Google maps...
posted by straw at 1:45 PM on May 9, 2013


Slightly more bridge info on the bridge's wiki
posted by elizardbits at 1:46 PM on May 9, 2013


I don't move, just spin in place - it's sort of cheating because you can keep moving until you find a sign. If you see a sign, fine, luck of the draw, but moving to find one makes it less a game.
posted by stbalbach at 1:47 PM on May 9, 2013


Half the fun is in imagining yourself actually in this situation and making a panicked phone call for help.

"RICK I AM ON A MOUNTAIN AND THERE IS A TELESCOPE NEARBY, I THINK I AM IN SWITZERLAND OR ANTARCTICA. COME PICK ME UP."
posted by aw_yiss at 1:49 PM on May 9, 2013 [33 favorites]


This has the makings of an awesome reality tv series. Sort of like the Amazing Race on propofol.
posted by scottatdrake at 1:50 PM on May 9, 2013


6,046. do i have the lowest score? what do i win?

in other news, mr. gerstle is probably never going to work again.
posted by gerstle at 1:50 PM on May 9, 2013


0.028km was only 3172 points.
posted by Perplexity at 1:50 PM on May 9, 2013


DAMMIT AUSTRALIA
posted by swift at 1:53 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


15861. Helped out considerably by seeing a streetcorner I recognized immediately, and for which I was 0.003 km away (a car-and-a-half distance). I don't think I'm likely to top that score ever.
posted by yellowcandy at 1:54 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Exactly 12345 points on my first attempt. Got lucky that there was one in Key West that had easily-found signs with "KEY WEST" written on them.

I think the scoring system needs some work. I feel like I didn't get enough points when I got within 1km, but got too many when I was a state or even a country away.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:58 PM on May 9, 2013


Xoebe, I got the same picture of Key West! Turn around and you'll see the name of the shopping center across the street. That gave me a score up in the 3000's. Top score 12,838 because I keep mixing up Australia with, like, everything.

This is the best game I have ever, ever, ever seen. I'm so going to be ready when I have to parachute down from orbit and then find a phone booth. (My last round, by the way, I was dropped right next to a Telstra phone booth - that made the continent quite easy!)
posted by Michael Roberts at 1:59 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hey, I know some people who wrote papers about this kind of thing!

One paper, from 2008, is about almost exactly the same task: locating images from their content. Turns out the method does about as well as humans (for some standard of correctness-of-guess) on urban and landscape scenes, but not quite as well on landmarks -- although they didn't really build in any way for their method to recognize specific landmarks, so that's not unexpected.

Another paper last year from the same professor's lab, What Makes Paris Look Like Paris?, automatically identifies a location's characteristic medium-scale visual elements. I liked this sentence:
Figure 10 shows images from the 5th arrondissement of Paris, pointing out which elements are specific to that arrondissement, which are Paris-specific, and which are pan-European. For example, the stone balcony railings and arches are pan-European, windows with collapsible shutters and balconies with iron railings are Parisian, and the grooves around the windows are typical of the 5th arrondissement.
Unfortunately, it turns out that this paper's method doesn't work equally well everywhere:
It is also interesting to note that, on the whole, the algorithm had more trouble with American cities: it was able to discover only a few geo-informative elements, and some of them turned out to be different brands of cars, road tunnels, etc.
posted by Serf at 1:59 PM on May 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wow it loves Australia.
posted by charred husk at 1:59 PM on May 9, 2013


Also, item, quitcher whinin' because I got North Texas on one. It's nice of Texas to use Texas-shaped road signs.
posted by Michael Roberts at 1:59 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Way too cool. It would be even better if the scoring tracked every move, pan, zoom, and reduced your score accordingly--it would be a combination of knowledge/recognition and strategy about what more information is available in the shortest distance.
posted by Mngo at 2:01 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Seriously I mean nothing against you Australia but right now fuck yourself to hell.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:04 PM on May 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


I was a third of a km away from one of my guesses, the game dropped me in the middle of a busy street in Key West right in front of a plaque for "Harry Truman's Little White House" and a bunch of tourist sightseeing trolleys. And I got absurdly lucky off the coast of Finland. I'm pretty sure that's a sentence I will never type again.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 2:04 PM on May 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


Twice now it's given me a location that it had previously given me, so now I'm thinking that there are a set number of spots built into the game.

And that 40% of them are in Australia.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:07 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


OK, I just did a round where zooming and panning were allowed, but movement was not. I got two trans-oceanic errors, but then it put me in the same place as one time from last round, and then in front of a "West Coast Vancouver Island Outfitters," so my score is a respectable 8k.
posted by Mngo at 2:07 PM on May 9, 2013


10784. Way better than I thought I'd do.
posted by DrDreidel at 2:08 PM on May 9, 2013


My current high, and the best I'll get until I spend WAY too much time looking for landmarks and street signs, is 14,444.

Which, given the number of 4's, is a sign that I should stop.

Sure wish I could figure out how to share a link to that score, though...
posted by braz at 2:09 PM on May 9, 2013


I was feeling SO pleased with myself at getting 9359 on my first try. I was uncannily good at 3 of the questions, but messed up completely by mistaking Scotland for the southern coast of South America.
posted by Joh at 2:10 PM on May 9, 2013


Boooyeah! 15522!!

I fudged a little. Drive up the road in GeoGuessr a little till you find a sign. I got lucky. I found the Hilltop Lodge in NY, and was off by 0.15 km. Next, I found a sign that said "izvorul frumos" which turns out to be a tributary of a small river in Romania - I was off by 100 km or so, but that was pretty good.

I then got the same location in Seoul, Korea, twice, so I nailed it.

The most challenging was in Alica Springs, Australia. I wasn't sure it was Alice Springs, but it looked damn close, so I threw down the marker, and bam! off by only 1.5 km.
posted by Xoebe at 2:11 PM on May 9, 2013


It's hard to look up stuff in Japanese.
posted by Michael Roberts at 2:12 PM on May 9, 2013


Wait so you're toodling around for signs and then Googling them?

I am now ignoring all the scores posted in this thread.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:12 PM on May 9, 2013 [13 favorites]


The rules is the rules, shakespeherian.
posted by Michael Roberts at 2:14 PM on May 9, 2013


I recognized the second place I was given as an on-ramp to the main highway in Sao Paulo, no googling.

You missed with 0.771 km which gave 3170 points

At least I can stop now, I'm not doing any better.
posted by true at 2:14 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I HAVE NEVER FELT SO BETRAYED
posted by shakespeherian at 2:15 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, but honestly, you know how many "Hilltop Lodges" there are in temperate climate zones that drive on the right hand side of the road? Lots, let me tell you. Google-fu must be strong to make the right choice. :)
posted by Xoebe at 2:15 PM on May 9, 2013


14807!

I am particularly chuffed at getting within .004km of one spot based almost solely on finding this rock behind some grass.
posted by arkham_inmate_0801 at 2:16 PM on May 9, 2013


I got four really close and missed the fifth because I mistook a flag hanging limp on a pole for Italy when it was actually Mexico.
I'm slowly developing a logical process for this...signs in English, drive on the left, mountains - must be New Zealand!
posted by rocket88 at 2:17 PM on May 9, 2013


I thought it was in Bermuda, turned out to be in the Ogasawara Islands

Ya gotta look for signs! That one plops you right in front of a sign that says OGA[garble]ARA in Roman letters and underneath that has Asian-character-looking-things that clearly aren't Hangul.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:18 PM on May 9, 2013


How else can you identify Inuvik, NT, Canada? I mean really! Walk around and look at stuff!
posted by Michael Roberts at 2:19 PM on May 9, 2013


Oh my god, I can't stop playing!
posted by aka burlap at 2:19 PM on May 9, 2013


On review - shakespeherian - translating and then finding that rock took way more effort than anything (ANYTHING!) I have been paid to do in ages. So I don't really see that as cheating. Now, I'm not too smug about finding one place when I was dropped down next to a street sign in New Zealand.
posted by arkham_inmate_0801 at 2:19 PM on May 9, 2013


ROU_Xenophobe: "I thought it was in Bermuda, turned out to be in the Ogasawara Islands

Ya gotta look for signs! That one plops you right in front of a sign that says OGA[garble]ARA in Roman letters and underneath that has Asian-character-looking-things that clearly aren't Hangul.
"

I got this exact same clue/location.
posted by arkham_inmate_0801 at 2:20 PM on May 9, 2013


First score, 11852. Would have done better if I'd remembered Tasmania existed, but I'm pretty proud of myself for identifying Eucalyptus trees correctly as Australian. My first four pins were all in Northern Europe (Sweden, Norway, Poland, Slovakia), which seemed weird.
posted by maryr at 2:21 PM on May 9, 2013


13665. Much fun. When in doubt, look to Australia.
posted by trip and a half at 2:25 PM on May 9, 2013


Scores would drop if the makers were to add a time limit - hint, hint.

At least mine would.
posted by arkham_inmate_0801 at 2:25 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Some of these are restricted in some way, I think. I got a botanical garden in South Africa that won't let me walk out the gate (it teleports me back into the garden).
posted by Michael Roberts at 2:30 PM on May 9, 2013


10178. This is awesome.
posted by brundlefly at 2:31 PM on May 9, 2013


Scores would drop if the makers were to add a time limit - hint, hint.

One other tidbit from this project: if you don't get to pan, move, zoom, or Google, and there are no easily-identifiable landmarks, you may do about as well after a single 100ms viewing as you would after several minutes of staring.
posted by Serf at 2:32 PM on May 9, 2013


12022

I want more...
posted by ding-dong at 2:34 PM on May 9, 2013


All right, that was much more fun than it had any business being.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:35 PM on May 9, 2013


I am now ignoring all the scores posted in this thread.

Not only did I not google signs, I didn't realize the target map would zoom in, which is why I ended up with a marker in the ocean off Japan (though, to be fair, it was probably just as close as I would've been if I'd gotten it on a land mass). I would try again, but I probably wouldn't actually do any better.
posted by EvaDestruction at 2:36 PM on May 9, 2013


And if you shift+reload, you get 5 more chances... My wife is going to hate me.
posted by ding-dong at 2:38 PM on May 9, 2013


This is a really fun way to find contextual clues and relate them to your surroundings. I have to admit I was really excited when I looked around one of the photos and saw a statue of Babe The Blue Ox and Paul Bunyan! I've totally seen it in person before, in Bemidji, MN!

Turns out, yeah, there's a ton of those damn statues, and the one I happened to be looking at this time around was in friggin' Oregon.
posted by antonymous at 2:38 PM on May 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm finding I do better if I use use my Blade Runner 'Rick Deckard' voice - Pan right or-and pull back. Stop.
posted by mctsonic at 2:41 PM on May 9, 2013


14836 with lots of moving about and looking stuff up.
10687 with nothing but panning and zooming.
posted by Jehan at 2:41 PM on May 9, 2013


Got one of a giant cruise ship. Turned around.... "Welcome to Ketchikan, Alaska!" Bingo.
posted by E3 at 2:42 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


grrr... licence plates are blurred out. ENHANCE! ENHANCE!
posted by Kabanos at 2:47 PM on May 9, 2013


I was just plopped into the coolest street view location I've ever seen!
posted by localhuman at 2:48 PM on May 9, 2013 [17 favorites]


Hmm...
I am standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door.
There is a small mailbox here.
posted by Kabanos at 2:50 PM on May 9, 2013 [11 favorites]


Just had an all-Australia round.
posted by Mngo at 2:50 PM on May 9, 2013


I guessed France for one because there was a dude in a beret (his face wasn't blurred, but his boots were!) . Turns out he was actually Basque!
posted by vespabelle at 2:50 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


The points should go up much quicker when you get under a km.
posted by starman at 2:53 PM on May 9, 2013


This is super fun, but my one wish is that you could look around more after the correct answer has been revealed. Or can you do that and I'm just missing it? I keep wanting to take another look once I know what it is I'm looking at.
posted by aka burlap at 2:55 PM on May 9, 2013


I love how the rules work. You invent some rules (no moving, no googling; or Use google and wander but only use 30 seconds, or (my favourite) Do the exact opposite of whatever your last rules were). Of course, scores are going to be a bit wild.
posted by stonepharisee at 2:57 PM on May 9, 2013


I was just plopped into the coolest street view location I've ever seen!

You swim north, away from the shore. You have been irresponsible. You have been eaten by a shark. DEATH END.
posted by jaduncan at 2:59 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just spent, like, way too much of my afternoon doing this. It may well be the single greatest time waster ever.

Along the way, I learned How To Tell if Something is in Australia (or Maybe New Zealand): Looks like the US or Canada, but the road signs are on the wrong sides. Also, rural roads with a white line down the middle. Us North Americans use yellow lines.
posted by breakin' the law at 3:04 PM on May 9, 2013


12,320. You gotta love when you get a sign that says "Commune di Livorno" in the pic immediately.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 3:09 PM on May 9, 2013


YES! I guess with in 2.1 km! Woooooooooooooooo!
posted by maryr at 3:09 PM on May 9, 2013


Damn. Japan can really look a lot like Florida.
posted by Michael Roberts at 3:11 PM on May 9, 2013


I got within 50m without using Google. Spinning around and finding the Golden Gate bridge helped, though.
posted by ceiriog at 3:12 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Near perfection: You missed with 19941.331 km which gave 12 points.

I guessed South Island, NZ, turns out it was Galicia, Spain.

Screen cap imgur link.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 3:13 PM on May 9, 2013 [8 favorites]


If you move around while you're in street view and then guess, does it compare your guess to where you currently are or where you were when you started? I'm guessing the second...
posted by aka burlap at 3:14 PM on May 9, 2013


This is super fun, but my one wish is that you could look around more after the correct answer has been revealed. Or can you do that and I'm just missing it?

You can. The real location is indicated as a marker on the map. If you zoom in far enough on that marker, you can get down to an intersection. Plug that intersection into a separate tap with Google Maps open, plunk down the street view guy, and start touring.
posted by mudpuppie at 3:17 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


It looks like it maps to your original location. So if you have to "drive" several miles down the interstate to find a sign or landmark, try to drop your marker where you started.

I agree it's *much* harder if you don't move from your current location. I get some though, out in the plains or a desert, and there is no way to know except within about 2000km.
posted by Xoebe at 3:20 PM on May 9, 2013


Oh yeah, good idea, mudpuppie! And yeah, it makes sense that it would map to the original location.
posted by aka burlap at 3:24 PM on May 9, 2013


Okay, I just got inside of an aquarium. Come on...
posted by Mister Fabulous at 3:24 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


13754, but only by zooming in on signs.
posted by terrierhead at 3:29 PM on May 9, 2013


Also, I would totally dig a similar game based solely on sound.
posted by antonymous at 3:30 PM on May 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


Woo, I got dropped into one view that was in appeared to be a rather posh hotel courtyard without any legible signage and the only control available was the 360 degree spin. I'm rather pleased that I was able to identify the plants in the landscaping and guessed within 200 miles of the actual location based on the plants' growing requirements.

So, I'm the Jason Bourne of tropical plants is what I'm saying.
posted by jamaro at 3:38 PM on May 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


14,685. Was doing amazing until the last one when I got dropped in the middle of nowhere. Took miles to finally see *something* A car! On the wrong side of the road! I guessed middle of nowhere Australia and was right, but still off by a gazillion kilometers. Stupidly huge and empty Australia.

This is fun.
posted by imbri at 3:38 PM on May 9, 2013


10872. US, Mexico, and Norway only; never been any of the places shown; didn't do any advanced license-plate or sign hunting. Native flora especially helpful, as jamaro notes.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 3:47 PM on May 9, 2013


Fun!

I like the way that 70% of the pictures aren't just water. I suppose Google hasn't gotten around to mapping the oceans yet...
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:04 PM on May 9, 2013


It's a big planet, isn't it?
posted by Michael Roberts at 4:08 PM on May 9, 2013


Turns out the only thing worse than driving through miles and miles of Mississippi-nowhere in the backseat of your parents' unairconditioned Oldsmobile is driving through miles and miles of Mississippi-nowhere in Google Maps.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:14 PM on May 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


.003 km! Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

I'm having fun, but I'm definitely not limiting either my strolling or my mapping. No Google cheating or anything, nothing not there on the page.
posted by maryr at 4:36 PM on May 9, 2013


I suppose Google hasn't gotten around to mapping the oceans yet...

Not on StreetView, no...
posted by maryr at 4:37 PM on May 9, 2013


I HAVE NEVER FELT SO BETRAYED

just wait, we're only a few weeks away from season 3 of teen wofl
posted by elizardbits at 4:46 PM on May 9, 2013


14752. My worst was gussing Rio de Janeiro when the place was actually in Foz de Iguacu (both places I've been, so I feel kinda dumb about that). My best was 0.088km when I nailed the location of the SS Keno Historical site in Dawson City.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:47 PM on May 9, 2013


wofl wofl wofl
posted by shakespeherian at 5:21 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


First couple of times I didn't google and was repeatedly confounded by Australia.

Second time I did google, and did well ("You got 13628 points in total"), but I was confounded other ways--a radio building with the name of a Norwegian town on it, but it turns out the radio building is a couple of islands over. One was of a Japanese park, complete with zoomed-in map of where it was, but I guessed an inlet on the main island when really it was on the southern one.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 5:23 PM on May 9, 2013


Your accuracy improves by eating more candies and planting more lollipops.
posted by vidur at 5:36 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why is it called Deh Cho?

First Nations (Dene) name for the Mackenzie River, which it crosses.
I added this to Wikipedia.

I did great with a number of 500 mile-ish guesses in a row, but then I guessed Australia instead of Brazil despite already having figured out it wasn't left-side driving. Bonk.
posted by dhartung at 5:42 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Whoo hoo! 15,166, after a large number of runs. All guesses within 100 meters except one, about 25 km off. This is too much fun.
posted by Fnarf at 6:29 PM on May 9, 2013


I'm just waiting for Svalbard to show up on this. I think I'll get that one.
posted by mcoo at 7:04 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


So much Australia, and now I just got one that plopped me in the middle of the water at a beach, with no ability to move.
posted by bethnull at 7:13 PM on May 9, 2013


Best was 11914 with no googling! that's cheating! ....and not too much moving, because I'm too lazy.

(of course it helped that one of the places I got was fifty miles from where I went to college. One may not think that eastern Indiana is particularly noteworthy, but I know it when I see it!)
posted by geegollygosh at 7:20 PM on May 9, 2013


The Australia thing seems significant, which, if it's due to the program, is a bug that needs to get worked out. But this is fascinating. I love looking over the pictures for the little tells -- the botany and geology; whether the cars have a right-side or left-side steering wheel; whether the road signs face drivers on the right side of the road or the left side of the road (in which case it's a Commonwealth country) . . .
posted by Countess Elena at 7:28 PM on May 9, 2013


I don't think it's a bug, really; it's just that Australia is huge, and completely Streetviewed, so it's going to come up a lot. I've gotten a ton of Mexico sites as well, and Japan, most of Europe (except Germany, the idiots), South Africa, coastal Brazil, and of course the US and southern Canada. If anything it's New Zealand that's been overrepresented for me, as a share of square km.

My favorites by far are Mexico and Brazil. I spent an hour poking around just in Orizaba and Cordoba, in Veracruz state -- a place I've never thought about before but now want to move to (Mrs. Fnarf gets very worried whenever I look at any map).
posted by Fnarf at 7:35 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


HOLY CRAP THIS WAS SO FUN

I am so insanely proud of my 13627 points muahahahaha
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 7:42 PM on May 9, 2013


Keep in mind street view isn't everywhere so don't bother picking, say, north Africa.
posted by Metro Gnome at 8:05 PM on May 9, 2013


I played it a few times, getting ~10,000. Then I remembered I could actually move the car, rather than just deal with the first location it gives you, and it got better - 14,933 is my best so far. I live in Australia, though, and it seems I'm quite good recognizing Tasmania, the Cape York Peninsula, or Alice Springs immediately. When I get some featureless desert road, however, my rule is basically; red soil? Drop it somewhere in the middle of Australia. Not-so red soil, maybe some mountains in the distance? Drop it in Nevada. It's worked well enough so far.
posted by Jimbob at 8:10 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


So I'm looking at a place that has agaves. Prickly pears. It's not California. I figure it's northern Mexico somewhere, and make the guess. It's South Africa. Damned introduced plants.
posted by Numenius at 8:40 PM on May 9, 2013


Wow, some of these areas have really blurry streetview photos. Apparently I've woken up in a strange place, slightly drunk and without my glasses.
posted by bethnull at 9:11 PM on May 9, 2013


Are you wearing a kilt? You may need to check for a blue ribbon...
posted by maryr at 9:12 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Are you wearing a kilt? You may need to check for a blue ribbon...

Lad, I don't know where you've been, but I see you've won first prize.
posted by bethnull at 9:15 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


So it is true!
posted by maryr at 9:28 PM on May 9, 2013


Well, I just found out the gross way that somewhere in Northeast Australia there's a Google Street Image view of kangaroo roadkill.
posted by davidjmcgee at 10:14 PM on May 9, 2013


Anyone else get the northern Norway one with the snowmobiles and no landmarks?
posted by yellowcandy at 10:21 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


You got 11457 points in total.

Guessed the country right every time on my first and only try (just eyeballing and clicking) which was a pleasant surprise. But I spend a lot of time wandering around in streetview.

Pro-tip: if the streetview is blurry lo-res and not urban, it's probably in America, ironically. That's where the first views were recorded, and they haven't yet revisited a lot of the US yet to upgrade.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:41 PM on May 9, 2013


Did anyone get the bridge that was submerged beneath a flooding river? I mean i understand crossing if your job is bringing med supplies to orphans but for the sake of street view???
up to 15579.
now i might try for low score
posted by OHenryPacey at 12:34 AM on May 10, 2013


So good !! . ( Helps being Australian :p )
posted by small house at 2:32 AM on May 10, 2013


Jesus Pandafucking Christ, friends: make at least a token effort with your punctuation, won't you? think of the children
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:22 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is loads of fun, but I have questions:

-how is scoring calculated and is there compensation for photographic clues available? I had one that plopped me down that I figured was in the Pacific Northwest until I rotated my view and saw the big "Welcome to Ketichan Alaska". I got within .5 km for 3000 and something points. The next one was a dusty dirt road intersection with absolutely know cues whatsover that turned out to be in Elliston, South Australia - I missed out on that by well over 500 km (my best guess was somewhere in Australia) and still got close to 3000 points. Does the system give a mix of fairly easy and almost impossible? Or is it completely random?

-some of these are really blurry and hard - my last one was of a bridge over a river in flood. That was it. Good luck! Based on the vegetation, I took a stab at Australia and was reasonably close.
posted by never used baby shoes at 8:17 AM on May 10, 2013


Keep in mind street view isn't everywhere so don't bother picking, say, north Africa.

I ended up on an island off the coast of Belize (even guessed the country correctly!), so I'm not sure that that link is entirely correct or up-to-date.
posted by Kabanos at 8:50 AM on May 10, 2013


how is scoring calculated and is there compensation for photographic clues available?

I get the impression, although I haven't tested it exactly, that there's a curve on the distance-to-score ratio. The score difference between 1km wrong and 500km wrong is less than the score difference between 500km and 1000km wrong, I think. Get things in the right country, and you'll get a pretty decent score, it's only when you mistake New Zealand for Canada that you'll really suffer. There doesn't seem to be that much extra benefit to trying to put the marker on the exact street.
posted by Jimbob at 9:05 AM on May 10, 2013


There doesn't seem to be that much extra benefit to trying to put the marker on the exact street.

Only to the ego!
posted by TwoWordReview at 9:37 AM on May 10, 2013


I sometimes play a game on long car trips. I imagine that I have just teleported into my situation, or maybe I'm a stranger who has taken over my body, a la Quantum Leap. I have to figure out where I am and the year based on my surroundings. This is so much more fun since the answer isn't always Georgia or Alabama.
posted by robstercraw at 9:38 AM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


The good news is that now I know what Katherine, NT looks like.
posted by yellowcandy at 10:00 AM on May 10, 2013


This is awesome. I was doing well until they took me to this location where there is no way to move around (you are in a fixed spot). I guessed it was in the Caribbean/Latin America somewhere due to the name of the company on the flag --- but my usual trick of just following roads to see what kind of cars/signs/flags I could see didn't work anymore!
posted by inflatablekiwi at 10:07 AM on May 10, 2013


So here's this game that automagically presents you with a picture of a random location somewhere on the globe and lets you try to guess where it is using a few flicks of your finger.

And yet I couldn't help but think "Gee, I wish I could play this on my phone."

Talk about your 21st century complaint.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:38 PM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Talk about your 21st century complaint": Yeah, can you imagine playing this game back in the '80s?

Even if there were the option to move through that environment, "oh, there's a sign with a random business name somewhere in the world, let me see if I can go to the library and look up their address"... Or "there's an intersection, and I think I can guess the country, but I don't know the city..."

This silly little diversion just totally slammed home how different the world is from 30 years ago.
posted by straw at 12:59 PM on May 10, 2013


Well, I just got my first definite error. Inside a restaurant, Latin American or Caribbean by appearances, but signs in English. Older, crumbly stone or concrete building, gaily painted. No way to move; you could turn around but not leave the room. So I dropped the marker on the tip of Florida just for fun. I was pretty close; the "correct" location was in the middle of the Caribbean, though, in open sea, just north of Cuba. No island there, so unless the panoramic photo was taken on a cruise ship (which seems unlikely, unless they're building cruise ships out of two-foot-thick concrete these days) it's got bad coordinates.
posted by Fnarf at 1:00 PM on May 10, 2013


0.467 km without any cheating.

(It helped that I could see the Sydney Opera House from the bridge I was obviously on.)

I wish rather than points it would just give you the total km after 5 rounds.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:23 PM on May 10, 2013


Hey, 14694.

And no, I haven't slept since this was posted.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:35 PM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Place! is a fun FaceBook version, sort of, of this game. Any member of the open group posts a picture and the other members guess where the place of the picture might be. When a person guesses correctly, the member who posted the pic offers a cyber treat, an imagined meal and drink of the place of the picture.

Often the picture is of a place one of the members has been, anecdotes and funny stories are shared. Travel tips and thoughts too. MeFites who like this cool GeoGuess might also enjoy Place! Made some good friends there.
posted by nickyskye at 1:54 PM on May 10, 2013


When I guess New Zealand when I originally thought it was Australia and I'm right, I really feel like a pro.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:17 PM on May 10, 2013


I got a giant side of a cruise ship, turned slightly to see a "Welcome to Ketchikan" sign. well, then.

Weirdest thing was a road in southern Sweden that kept switching from summer to winter as I went along. It was either a hazy snow covered day or brilliant sunlight with morning long shadows, seemingly changing arbitrarily.
posted by readery at 7:09 PM on May 10, 2013


hmm, arid scrub, rusticky gate, somewhere in the Med? Turn, turn, HOLY SHIT GRAND CANYON.
posted by runincircles at 3:08 AM on May 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Did the scoring system just change? Using a lot of meandering and a lot of Googling I just scored over 22,000.

Or maybe you get more points for the more obscure locations? It gave me 6,600 points for a small town in Romania.
posted by ztdavis at 2:14 PM on May 11, 2013


It has to have changed. I just had a crap round worth 17,000.
posted by ztdavis at 2:32 PM on May 11, 2013


Yeah, I noticed the scoring seems different today, too. Not sure what it's based on. I scored over 6000 points for a location in the Northwest Territories.
posted by oulipian at 3:07 PM on May 11, 2013


24,802 here. The scoring has obviously changed.
posted by rocket88 at 4:46 PM on May 11, 2013


I don't know if the scoring changed, but I stayed in one place, just used what I could see with panning and zooming, and no Google. Score? 23946.
posted by Jehan at 9:51 AM on May 12, 2013


I have mostly been playing where I am allowed to move around, pan, zoom but without Googling. My best score was just over 20,000.

My best score from adding in Googling was 26,600 or so; a friend topped 30,000. This mostly involves not getting dropped in rural, sign-less places.
posted by mountmccabe at 11:46 AM on May 12, 2013


This is also fun to play by golf rules, though that makes me wish we had a globe for a map.

My best score this way is 217, (moving, panning but no Google). The main difference is that you can be doing great and ruin it with one bad guess. Last game I had 43 after three rounds and then guessed near Cancun, Mexico and my location turned out to be Rio Grande, Brazil. Oops.
posted by mountmccabe at 11:51 AM on May 12, 2013


May 9, 4:50 pm (EDT) 0.028km was only 3172 points.

If that's the case then the scoring has changed as I have gotten over 6,000 for being less than a kilometer away.
posted by mountmccabe at 11:56 AM on May 12, 2013


It looks like the scores were all doubled beyond a certain threshhold (I think it's <100km).
posted by yellowcandy at 5:58 PM on May 12, 2013


@GeoGuessr tweet from May 10:

New version out, now with hopefully less Australia. Also:
- Better randomization
- Increased points for really close guesses
- Bugfixes

And then

Also working on:
- Competitive play with same locations
- "Return to start" button

posted by mountmccabe at 6:24 PM on May 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


Hm. I knew Šternberk did not look German, but many shops had signs in French and so I ultimately wound up throwing a dart somewhere in the Alsace region. Turns out Šternberk is in the Czech Republic.
posted by usonian at 2:43 PM on May 13, 2013


- Increased points for really close guesses

Ah. I hit over 20K once with cheating, and then twice without (it helps getting dumped in the parking lot on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge, right by a "Welcome to Alaska!" sign, and in front of the Westin Key West)
posted by LionIndex at 9:51 PM on May 14, 2013


So, by the way, when/if "Competitive play" becomes a thing, I'm totally going to set-up a MeFite tournament bracket of some sort. You've been warned.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:48 PM on May 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


I've played both with extensive Googling and without, and I think I like Googling to be honest.

Although without Googling I got plopped down in small town America, and poked around for a little bit, found an election sign for a politician I recognized from Maryland, and got within 20 KM or so. That felt pretty badass.
posted by codacorolla at 11:49 AM on May 16, 2013


I'd also say that this is one of the most entertaining games I've played in quite a while. The combination of exploration and puzzle solving is fantastic.
posted by codacorolla at 3:46 PM on May 16, 2013


Can't believe I missed this when it was posted. Just did a run of 3 all within .5 km of my guess! Then I missed by 5k on highway 183 in Nabraska which took about 20 minutes of clicking forward just to find the nearest intersection.

Best guess so far was 0.009k. This is amazingly entertaining.
posted by postcommunism at 1:34 PM on May 19, 2013


XKCD
posted by COD at 5:05 AM on May 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


We just spent 3 straight hours playing. This is one of the most fun games I've ever played. I get to use all my language skills, practice reading Cyrillic, look at architecture, think about botany, think about history... A+
posted by Cygnet at 6:41 PM on May 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just found this yesterday, and man, what a timesuck. Whenever I guess Texas, it's Australia. It blows my mind how similar the landscapes seem.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:04 PM on May 21, 2013


Yeah, I just found this via someone on Chat mentioning it. It's a timesink indeed. Thanks for posting it!
posted by not_on_display at 10:19 PM on May 22, 2013


I just got dropped inside an indoor soccer stadium in Quebec. Following the arrows led me to the concession stands, no shit! There is a column of choices marked, E3, E2, E1, S3, S2, S1, T3, T2, T1, P, and 1, on the left side of the frame.

Pressing 1 puts me in a tiny theater where you would congregate during a field trip to some historic landmark and they would show you a movie about the history of xyz.

P seems to put me in an indoor swimming complex. I must be in Montreal at the site of the Olympics!

T1 leads me to an indoor observatory overlooking Montreal! E3 leads me to snowed-over area outside of that funny-looking stadium, and there are flags of all nations.

YAY I figured one out! ... wait, what? It tells me it's about 100 miles south-southeast of Bar Harbor, Maine?!?

No way. Foul.
posted by not_on_display at 10:18 PM on May 23, 2013


It's been five days now... can't escape the geoguessr... i am on a long, forested road in the north of finland... now I am in brazil again... now I'm somewhere on the great plains, not a roadsign in sight... I take a left... there is a mailbox here...
posted by not_on_display at 7:10 PM on May 28, 2013


> go east
posted by maryr at 8:33 PM on May 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


There is Geoguesser here. You are likely to be eaten by a timesuck.
posted by never used baby shoes at 8:34 AM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


> guess "Queensland"
posted by maryr at 1:31 PM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sorry, you were in Texas. Your guess was 13891.667 km from the correct location and gave 127 points.

There is Geoguessr here. You are likely to be eaten by a timesuck.
posted by never used baby shoes at 6:47 AM on May 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


I just got invited to the New Google Maps, which is apparently supposed to customize my maps experience based on things I click on and search for. I'm deeply concerned that the combination of GeoGuessr and self-customizing maps is going to mean that I'm not ever going to be able to find any places that aren't rest stops in New South Wales.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:54 AM on May 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


Did you guys know that there is a Halls Creek, Tennessee and also a Halls Creek, Western Australia? And that the one in Australia looks like it could be in Tennessee, easy?

Damn, you Halls Creek Meat Supply store across the street from the Mobil station. Damn you straight to hell.

I've decided that the tell for Australia vs. Tennessee is that the roads are a lot wider in Australia.

And jacquilynne, my phone's maps app STILL thinks I am in Istanbul despite having upgraded phones since I visited Istanbul over a year ago. For a week.
posted by Sara C. at 12:10 PM on June 1, 2013


So far I have scored over 20,000 once. Since I was getting mostly USA, Australia, Europe, Japan, Thailand, Brazil, and Mexico (I hadn't gotten South Africa yet) for answers, I just had to look up what in the world is covered by Street View. At least now I know where not to guess now, but I really was looking forward to landing in areas that I now know I won't see in this game. But anyway, I don't think I'd have scored over 20,000 if I didn't know which countries just weren't included in the game.

Still, what a timesink. There's so much area that IS covered, it's still a challenge. I love when I see a street sign that gives me THE CLUE. I didn't read upthread much, but I think street signs are fair game, and I am playing World Zork. I LOVE LIVING IN THE FUTURE.

> WEST

You see a ferryboat. Next to it is a sign that reads:

"CLOSED FOR MAINTENANCE 5AM to 7AM WEDNESDAYS"

There is a man on the ferryboat.

> DRIVE FERRYBOAT

You'll have to get out of the car first, and I can't let you do that.

> DRIVE ONTO FERRYBOAT

On The Ferryboat
You are on the Ferryboat. There is a man, wearing a knit wool cap, wool sweater, and a thick beard, asking you to pay the $2 fare.

> SLAP MAN WITH FISH

You have to get the fish out of your pants first!

Oh man I am going to bed.
posted by not_on_display at 10:00 PM on June 1, 2013


I just had to look up what in the world is covered by Street View.

OK, now that's cheating.

That said, I've noticed that the game takes me back to the same few regions over and over. And it's not the regions you'd think. I mean, I get why you never end up in North Korea. But I feel like Brazil and Asian Russia are way overrepresented, as is Scandinavia.

Also, I've ended up in British Columbia, the Yukon, and Alaska so many times that if I see pine forest and American-style road signs, I immediately go there without thinking about what the light is like and are there mountains in the distance and what color is the dirt.

Why doesn't it ever set you down in Southern California, Long Island, or Chicago? Why not London or Glasgow? I've been dropped in rural and suburban France, but not Paris.
posted by Sara C. at 10:31 PM on June 1, 2013


I think they might be adding new regions, because I've started getting Scottland, which has thrown me off (I guessed British Columbia instead).

Also, different areas have different watermarks ((C) 2009 Google) and camera qualities, but I've tried not to learn those to make it harder.
posted by codacorolla at 9:35 AM on June 2, 2013


Why doesn't it ever set you down in Southern California, Long Island, or Chicago? Why not London or Glasgow? I've been dropped in rural and suburban France, but not Paris.

I've been dropped in Shibuya, Tokyo. More dusty roads then cities overall, though.
posted by postcommunism at 10:17 AM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was pretty proud of landing just 5 km off the mark on one of the Shetland islands, and I nailed the highway between Saltillo & SLP once, but the Pemex station made that pretty easy. Remote piney regions kick my ass, though. A surprising amount of Siberia & Lapland is covered, & indistinguishable from northern Canada.

I've been doing a long of travelling via street view lately anyway, and am already kind of in tune with what's not been done, yet, esp. Eastern Europe, Turky, the middle east in general. Also, most of India.

That said, despite it's holes, Street View is really quite a marvel, overall.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:14 PM on June 2, 2013


I have gotten the same gorram unpaved red dirt road in the middle of nowhere (Queensland, not far from the Northern Territory border) twice now. TWICE. No signs. No people. No cars. Just a plume of dust rising behind the Google StreetView cam, trailing off into the unmarked, unremarkable distance.

And of course I didn't remember where fucking was the second time.
posted by maryr at 5:17 PM on June 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh FFS. I just got dropped on on the Midway Islands. According to Google Maps, the Midway Islands don't even have any fucking streets.

I give up.
posted by maryr at 5:41 PM on June 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why doesn't it ever set you down in Southern California, Long Island, or Chicago? Why not London or Glasgow? I've been dropped in rural and suburban France, but not Paris.

I don't know what the deal is with the various regions, but as for cities they contain a lot less road than the countryside. For example France has about 1,000,000 kilometers of roadway while Paris has less than 20,000.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:37 AM on June 3, 2013


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