13 May 2013

Here There Be Chickens: GeoGuessr

This post is going to have a lot of pictures. Click any of them to enlarge.

A couple of the PC gaming sites I visit pointed out this lovely browser-based game today: GeoGuessr. Basically it takes you to a random street somewhere in the world using Google Street View, and you have to figure out where you are. It's a simple idea but quite fun: it gives you a new way to experience the already-addicting Street View by testing your general geography knowledge and deduction skills. Wondering whether I'd get able to get around in a random place is the kind of thing I tend to daydream about, so I love the idea of the game.

Since it's based on Google Street View* you won't find yourself in the middle of an untraversable desert or stranded on an iceberg; you'll always be on a street. That still leaves a lot of places for you to find yourself, though. It could be in a city:

Or someplace a little more remote:

And then it's up to you to look around for clues. The most obvious one is often the vegetation. That and the color of the soil in the second image led me to believe I was in Australia. That was correct, but since I don't have much familiarity with that country and because I couldn't find anything else useful nearby, my guess was pretty imprecise (I basically clicked in the middle of the country, whereas I was actually in the north).

Cities offer a lot more information, though, and I'll take you through my process for that first image: