How many European cities can you name?
October 12, 2019 3:09 AM   Subscribe

After the US version (previously), the hyper-addictive game is back, this time challenging your knowledge of Europe.
posted by KTamas (104 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm at 15.54%, still missing 11 cities over 1 million...
posted by KTamas at 3:10 AM on October 12


just pick all the american cities or states that start with new and leave off new
posted by poffin boffin at 3:18 AM on October 12 [18 favorites]


10 or so of the largest cities are Russian cities you've only vaguely heard of.
posted by os tuberoes at 3:33 AM on October 12 [3 favorites]


They seem to have a rather generous definition of City, e.g. Pittenweem in Scotland is not normally considered a city.
posted by Lanark at 3:33 AM on October 12 [2 favorites]


yeah in theory it contains all the small towns etc. as well. The dataset does not seem to be perfect but pretty damn good overall.
posted by KTamas at 3:37 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


The hours I spent as a youth hunting Carmen Sandiego has prepared me for this task. I am ready.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 3:51 AM on October 12 [10 favorites]




I like that it is very forgiving of my attempt to spell Rekyavik Reykjavik.
posted by pompomtom at 4:05 AM on October 12 [2 favorites]


Took me forever to complete the countries, I was so focused on micro nations and it turned out to be a eu member country
posted by motdiem2 at 4:08 AM on October 12


yeah in theory it contains all the small towns etc. as well.

Not all of them, at least for the countries I'm most familiar with.

My boyfriend and I are currently at 160 after about ten minutes.
posted by Dysk at 4:09 AM on October 12


10 or so of the largest cities are Russian cities you've only vaguely heard of.

Though, judging from Petrograd, you can pick any name they've ever had.
posted by pompomtom at 4:34 AM on October 12 [4 favorites]


...which rapidly accelerated to over 300 as we realised we can list every tiny little town in the UK.
posted by Dysk at 4:35 AM on October 12


Am I going mad or doesn’t it have any places in Kosovo? Which is weird, given that North-Macedonia is up to date.
posted by Kattullus at 4:43 AM on October 12


Kosovo does not show up on the list of countries, even though it is shown as a separate place.
posted by KTamas at 4:45 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


god i am drawing so many blanks on medium-sized german and french cities, it's so frustrating
posted by KTamas at 5:04 AM on October 12 [3 favorites]


Pffft. I tried to name them all St. Flabdabletburg but it wouldn't let me.

I liked the boat naming contest better. But that one's winning pattern would be a little dubious if applied to countries.
posted by flabdablet at 5:17 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


How are your umlauts? "Koln" is no good. "KÖln" works. "Cologne" is easier to type on my machine...
posted by pompomtom at 5:18 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


Also: can we have an Australian version? Three answers and you've got most of the population.
posted by pompomtom at 5:23 AM on October 12 [6 favorites]


Yeah, the Canadian version would also be somewhat similar.
posted by KTamas at 5:30 AM on October 12 [2 favorites]


St. Flabdabletburg

Popular acclamation hasn't been a thing for a while.
posted by pompomtom at 5:35 AM on October 12


My version of the umlaut problem is remembering Z’s. I was going mad trying to get it to accept “Nishny Novgorod” (thank you 2018 World Cup for cities in Russia).
posted by Kattullus at 5:36 AM on October 12


Is there a French name for that?
posted by pompomtom at 5:39 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


I know every tiny town around my neck of the woods, of course, but having a difficulty thinking of a third city in France...
posted by Pyrogenesis at 5:41 AM on October 12 [2 favorites]


How the hell are there 14 cities of 1,000,000+ inhabitants that I can't get? [stares suspiciously at Russia]
posted by Catseye at 5:49 AM on October 12 [5 favorites]


can we have another mefi collaborative link, because i won't get near as far on this one by myself ...
posted by gaybobbie at 6:12 AM on October 12


(I’ve sent an email to the author about Pristina missing, although I’m not sure it would make the 100k+ cut)

Knowledge of sports and especially football manager 2014 lower leagues is proving very useful right now
posted by motdiem2 at 6:12 AM on October 12 [3 favorites]


also I find it funny that the largest city is from a country whose territory is not depicted
posted by motdiem2 at 6:14 AM on October 12


Three answers and you've got most of the population

Dapto, Dapto, Dapto
posted by flabdablet at 6:16 AM on October 12


Well, the territory that half of the largest city in is depicted.
posted by ambrosen at 6:19 AM on October 12 [2 favorites]


I got to 34 out of 38 cities of a million plus, said fuck this for a hill of beans, checked the list of largest European cities, found two I had missed, but no more. I’m still at 36.

I CAN’T EVEN CHEAT MY WAY TO VICTORY I AM A HORSE MADE OF FAILURE
posted by Kattullus at 6:24 AM on October 12 [11 favorites]


14.57% so far.

Am amused that most of my smallest towns are misspellings of larger cities (hello, Díon, Greece and Bârca, Romania!)
posted by kwartel at 6:57 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


can we have another mefi collaborative link, because i won't get near as far on this one by myself ...

Here you go--so far, I've only named three cities, so there's plenty of room for growth.
posted by box at 7:01 AM on October 12 [4 favorites]


I'm stuck in the same 36/38 spot as Kattullus and wonder if the missing cities are Novosibirsk and Ankara or something - both in countries only partly in Europe. Hmmmm.
posted by mdonley at 7:10 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


Seconding the idea that this seems to be more "urban settlements" than cities per se.
posted by pharm at 7:13 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


Been playing wargames on these maps all my life. Sad to say this is now tangible and concrete evidence of the decline of my metal facilties... Many many obvious ones I should know just not coming to the surface. Ouch.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:15 AM on October 12 [2 favorites]


Ankara is very much not in Europe, and I'm not even trying to work out how to properly spell Istanbul with the dot on the I.
posted by pompomtom at 7:18 AM on October 12


The dataset is all over the place. Tiny towns of a few hundred (or even less than a hundred) appear from some countries, but a town like Glyngøre (pop. 1500+) does not appear valid.
posted by Dysk at 7:23 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


The author told me in email is that if someone finds at least a 50k+ city that's missing he will add it manually. His email is iafisher@protonmail.com
posted by KTamas at 7:26 AM on October 12 [2 favorites]


In the millions category, I've got 36, which distributed by country are:
1 country with 8 cities,
1 with 5,
1 with 3
3 with 2
and
14 countries with one city over a million.
posted by ambrosen at 7:37 AM on October 12


I'll just keep refreshing that shared link until someone finds that 38th city
posted by motdiem2 at 7:54 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


Here you go--so far, I've only named three cities, so there's plenty of room for growth.

Thanks, box, this is way less depressing in this collaborative form. :)
posted by bigendian at 8:02 AM on October 12 [3 favorites]


I think we killed the server :(
posted by pharm at 8:19 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


504 Gateway Time-out

We did it!
posted by bigendian at 8:19 AM on October 12 [2 favorites]


We're free!
posted by grandiloquiet at 8:27 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


Wait, no, it's back.
posted by grandiloquiet at 8:28 AM on October 12 [3 favorites]


It's incredibly slow at the moment.
posted by peacheater at 8:32 AM on October 12


It is just not working for me. I keep putting in cities that I know exist (er… Berlin?) and it's not registering. Maybe we've borked it.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:29 AM on October 12


Just got an email from the creator, he's working on getting things going again.
posted by KTamas at 9:51 AM on October 12 [3 favorites]


I thought I could be all smug and clever with obscure Ostrobothnian towns, but it's quibbling with me on Lappajärvi.

I know it exists because my father was born there.

Unless that theory about Finland is right.

Hmmmm...
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:27 AM on October 12 [1 favorite]


Bad gateway, alas.
posted by jrochest at 11:38 AM on October 12


It's running really slowly for me, so I'm trying to give it time. I'm glad that it's not finicky about accents and allows you to enter in the city's name in language's spellings, but that's got to be more difficult to compute. I also wonder what they're using for source data, since there isn't a unified source of information like a specific census.

So Far:
*I noticed that my attempt to reverse-engineer the European->US City tactic doesn't work as well - I was trying to name random places in Puerto Rico and Mexico for Spain, and I don't think I got one hit - the saint's name trick also doesn't work as well, since Spain wasn't as into setting up missionaries in their own country. Place names in Massachusetts still work fine for England, though.

*The random nice sounding phrases also does not work as well as it did in the US, even after translating.

*What has worked for me: Remembering the cities for Civilization, remembering conference rooms at the international corporation I used to work for, remembering where coworkers were from (if I could spell Polish city names. . .). Clothing terms, styles of food, styles of beer, last names that start with 'of' in various languages, remembering where various historical figures are from.

*I apparently have no idea how large these cities are in comparison to each other. Like, I knew that London was larger than any other city in the UK, but so far it looks like it's nine times larger than any other city I've named there (and dwarfing Paris). That's like if the next biggest city in the US after NYC was Austin. Meanwhile Moscow is like WHAT.
posted by dinty_moore at 12:56 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]


Now 'Under Maintenance' :(
posted by motty at 12:59 PM on October 12


Spelling was easier for me on this one than the American one. I left out a bunch of accented "e"s for Hungarian cities and the game accepted them anyway, and it also seems programmed to accept cities under different names. (I entered "Gallipoli" thinking it would add the Italian city, but since I didn't specify the country, it added the larger Gelibolu in Turkey instead.)
posted by grandiloquiet at 1:49 PM on October 12


It's back up.

Oh no.
posted by chainsofreedom at 2:09 PM on October 12 [5 favorites]


Seconding those hours poured into Civilisation helping.

If you ever got really into Championship Manager/Football Manager, that’s a real help.
posted by eyeofthetiger at 2:15 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]


I’m going to really suck at this after Halloween.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:25 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]


Also, years of watching Eurovision.

“Hello from Skopje!”
posted by Kattullus at 2:26 PM on October 12 [5 favorites]


Oops, I misread Europe as the EU. I think it speaks to how dire and confusing the world has become.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:32 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]


Does the collective link still work? Here. It shows more than a thousand cities. But I don't know whether it works collaboratively. Anyway I put every random village in Estonia into it.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 2:32 PM on October 12


Weirdly, and annoyingly, it shows places in the Faroe Islands as being in “Denmark”. Also, Mariehamn, or any other place in the Åland Islands, seems to be missing.

Also, I’m starting to think that the 38th city of over a million people must be an error.
posted by Kattullus at 2:35 PM on October 12


The dataset for Scandinavia seems to be much much less comprehensive than those for the UK or Italy, for example. Lots of not huge, but regionally significant towns just not there.

Meanwhile, it took quite a bit of trial and error to get the game to accept the particular Newcastle that I wanted.
posted by Dysk at 2:43 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]


So, it turns out I'm not super-great at knowing major European cities that aren't capitals, but I am FUCKING MURDERING this by running through cathedral cities! From, like, the year 600 to the present. My brain is a graveyard of Catholic trivia, apparently.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:54 PM on October 12 [6 favorites]


I put in a bunch of random-ass towns from southern Spain. You're welcome.
posted by chainsofreedom at 3:04 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]


Me: "Brain, what is the capital of Spain?"

Brain: "uh .... I think it's Madrid?"

Me: "Brain, what cities in Spain have cathedrals?"

Brain: "Madrid! Seville! Barcelona -- that's a really nice one! Bilbao! Palencia! Burgos! Grenada! Malaga! Cartagena! Cadiz! Cordoba! Valencia! Majorca! Menorca! Ibiza! Oviedo -- I like that one too! Leon! Pamplona! Calahorra! Jaca! San Sebastian! Santiago de Compostela but I'm not sure what the city's called, try all combos! Lugo! Girona! Toledo! Avila -- ooh, that's a good one! Salamanca! Segovia! Ummmmmmm ... Zaragoza or however it's spelled. Barbastro-something-or-other. Can we do Portugal now?"
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:05 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]


You named 182 cities, with a total population of 117,144,299 (16.79% of the European urban population). (ignore Krasnodar at the end there, that was from me testing something)

Not too shabby, considering I did way less random-ass guessing in the end compared to the USA quiz. Though it was frustrating to discover how many of the UK cities I thought I knew were actually counties. (Also cheated to look up the one country I was missing -- Bratislava! -- but consider that a fair trade for the curious absence of Kosovo).

I wonder what the last city with >1,000,000 is on the MeFi map.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:24 PM on October 12


Sooo..what exactly is supposed to happen here?

I get a grey, blank map with country outlines.
If I type something in the box like, say. 'London' or 'Zagreb, Croatia', nothing happens.
I can zoom in and out, but that doesn't seem to accomplish anything.

Nothing happens in an alternate browser, either.
posted by madajb at 3:37 PM on October 12


Hmm, I typed "Parcu" (guessing at Finnish names) and it auto-filled "Altofonte, Italy". Weird.

What's the smallest place you've found? I've got Starling, Austria (16) and Minós, Greece (23).
posted by oulipian at 3:44 PM on October 12


Given that it appears to allow suburbs of cities as well as cities (eg Wembley), I'm wondering if there isn't a suburb of one of the >1million cities that itself has >1million people, and that this is the missing 38th >1million "city".

Can't find it though.
posted by motty at 3:48 PM on October 12


It seems to handle duplicates intelligently, allowing them only once; this works for pairs like Derry/Londonderry, or Turku/Åbo, and presumably also on properly-written/ASCII-stripped renderings of names (I'm guessing that München, Munchen and Munich all map to the same city).
posted by acb at 3:48 PM on October 12


smallest found (and in the MeFi map no less): Ottenstein, Austria (1)
-- fairly confident that's not a city, though.
posted by bigendian at 3:51 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]


110 people fewer than Fucking, Austria.
posted by acb at 4:00 PM on October 12


for folks having issues about the 38th city... just got this mail from him:

"By the way it looks like a lot of people are having trouble naming the last city with more than a million people. I checked and realized that I erroneously included Izmir, Turkey, in my data set, which is actually in Asia. I'll fix it sometime today."

so... yeah.
posted by KTamas at 4:01 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]


So, with Izmir struck, should be 98 out of 102 cities w/populations >500k in the collaborative map--just four cities remaining.
posted by box at 4:07 PM on October 12


But… but… we already have Izmir.
posted by Kattullus at 4:08 PM on October 12


I believe it does not work in Safari, or at least the version of Safari I have. Nothing I added, in any permutations, states or countries or left unselected (in both games) did anything. I moved to Chrome, and it worked. (In case anyone else is feeling maddeningly left out.)
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 5:02 PM on October 12


I found a bunch of the missing over 500,000 cities, all in Turkey: Bagcilar, UEskuedar, Bahcelievler, and Esenler. It says 101 out of 103 now.
posted by oulipian at 6:01 PM on October 12


I am ashamed by how many places throughout the continent I've delivered to in Euro Truck Sim 2 but whose names I can't recall.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 8:47 PM on October 12 [2 favorites]


> Svitz
NOT FOUND

> Nugulgorsk
NOT FOUND

Oh no. My knowledge of Europe consists almost entirely out of fictional Night Vale cities.
posted by schmod at 9:32 PM on October 12 [8 favorites]


Oh, I found another 500,000+ city – it was Pristina, Kosovo. The game data seems to have been updated to properly include Kosovo, and so I guess Pristina had to be entered again. We're only missing one 500,000+ city now. I would guess it's in Russia.
posted by oulipian at 10:27 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]


I'm able to list both Berlin and its individual sub-cities/districts. So both "Berlin, Germany (3,426,354)" but also Schöneberg, Kreuzberg, Mitte, Friedrichshain, Prenzlauer Berg, Neukölln, Wedding, and so on. These are definitely not suburbs. Are these not throwing off the total population count? I'm not able to do this with, for instance, London.
posted by daveliepmann at 10:48 PM on October 12


we already have Izmir

then we take Berlin
posted by flabdablet at 10:58 PM on October 12 [6 favorites]


The districts thing also works for Warsaw (including the delightfully specific Śródmieście, literally midtown, but not the smaller ones like Muranów or Grochów), but not Gdańsk or Kraków. Possibly because they used to be separate administrative units / gminas?
posted by I claim sanctuary at 12:20 AM on October 13 [1 favorite]


There must’ve been two of them, because we had Izmir and now it’s down to to 36 (all of which we have GOOD JOB FULFILLING THOSE METRICS TEAM).
posted by Kattullus at 4:08 AM on October 13 [2 favorites]


London is in there, but also wembley, harrow and brentford. Which is odd.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:01 AM on October 13


I found Rey, Italy (population: 4) by guessing king and queen in various western european languages.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:29 AM on October 13


So I was wrong about Saints as names not working - it totally does work, but it works for Italy, not Spain. (Santa Monica, Santa Laura, San Giovanni, San Marco, Santa Rosa)
posted by dinty_moore at 11:49 AM on October 13


Here are some fun goals for the collaborative map:
  • Find that last 500,000+ city! I'm starting to think it might be a suburb of one of the larger cities.
  • Reach 50% of the urban population! Right now, with 4,800 cities, we're at 48.77%.
  • Is there a city with zero population? The American map had lots.
  • Explore the periphery! I added some places in the Azores (Ponta Delgada), and the very northern Russian outpost of Amderma. There's some southern stuff that doesn't even show up on the initial map view.
  • Paint the map red! It's fun to try and fill in empty-looking spaces. So many Greek and Scottish islands...
    posted by oulipian at 3:59 PM on October 13 [2 favorites]


    Added a whole bunch of tiny random British cities, all that train travel has paid off!
    posted by iamkimiam at 4:27 PM on October 13 [2 favorites]


    Also, are there any European cities that start with j or x? I can't think of or find one.
    posted by iamkimiam at 4:45 PM on October 13


    I knew memorizing the meaning of liff would pay off someday.
    posted by Dr. Curare at 6:28 PM on October 13 [2 favorites]


    are there any European cities that start with j or x? I can't think of or find one.

    Spain has a lot of "Jerez".
    posted by daveliepmann at 10:12 PM on October 13


    This is hilarious and awesome. Thanks for sharing, OP, and great thread, too.
    posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:41 PM on October 13


    Nesvík is a village on the east coast of the Faroese island of Streymoy, located in the Sunda municipality. In 2013 its population was 1. Nesvík is home to a religious camp of the conservative Inner Mission of the national church, and a conference center called Leguhusið í Nesvík. Its name is derived from the Faroese words for cape and bay.
    posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 10:45 PM on October 13 [1 favorite]


    Also, are there any European cities that start with j or x? I can't think of or find one.

    Jokkmokk!
    posted by lollusc at 1:12 AM on October 14 [1 favorite]


    I knew memorizing the meaning of liff would pay off someday.

    This comment made me remember Didcot (little circles of paper left over from railway ticket punches).

    Annnndddd. 50.02%! we did it.

    Now just that missing 500,000+ city (it has to be a suburb of some kind)
    and 143 100,000 and up cities.
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:57 AM on October 14 [3 favorites]


    Also Jena
    posted by lollusc at 11:32 AM on October 14


    I added Baltimore (population 347) (where I was on my 39th birthday), in mediocre weather - but I did swim off Clear Island and saw porpoises. But it didn't have Calgary, where I spent my 6th birthday, which has one of the most beautiful beaches in Scotland. Both are the original sources of their namesake large cities in North America. Pennsylvania, South Gloucestershire did not show up.

    It did have Ellesmere, my dad's home village whose namesake island is the next largest island to Great Britain, and has a slightly greater population. I closed in the mid-Wales gap with Lampeter, Llandrindod Wells and Buith Wells, and Hawick nearly covered the last gap in Northumberland from over the Scottish border. So England and Wales are virtually fully red. Working through Scotland and Ireland now. There's a couple of towns I've been to whose names are totally eluding me for the moment. So frustrating.
    posted by ambrosen at 12:21 PM on October 14 [2 favorites]


    Naming all the booze I could think of got me an embarrassing amount of France filled in.
    posted by arha at 10:32 PM on October 14 [3 favorites]


    100 out of 101 (99.00%) cities with over 500,000 people.

    Didn't we have 101 out of 102 earlier?
    posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:25 AM on October 15


    I noticed that, too! I guess the data was updated again. I wonder what city was expunged or merged or downgraded or whatever.
    posted by oulipian at 7:06 AM on October 15


    I entered some of the world's longest place names today. Welcome to Pfaffenschlag bei Waidhofen an der Thaya (Austria), Pino sulla Sponda del Lago Maggiore (Italy), Gasselterboerveenschemond (Netherlands), Staronizhestebliyevskaya (Russia), Llanfairpwllgwyngyll (UK), and many more!
    posted by oulipian at 1:59 PM on October 15 [2 favorites]


    Moved on to naming cheese. Even more productive!
    posted by arha at 3:05 PM on October 15 [1 favorite]


    Just checked the community map and I am so proud of all of you.
    posted by KTamas at 1:54 AM on October 16 [3 favorites]


    I found the last 500,000+ city! It was Kalininskiy, Russia – an administrative district of Saint Petersburg.

    I entered a ton of suburbs/districts around Madrid, Berlin and various Russian cities. We now have 56.19% of the population, and 782 out of 829 (94.33%) cities with over 100,000 people! Also Russia is looking considerably more freckled. I'm going to stop now.
    posted by oulipian at 10:07 AM on October 16 [8 favorites]


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