Think you know your geography? Feel confident you could use clues to figure out where you are? Hah! So did I, and the BBC’s free online game Geoguessr using Google Maps Street View is proving me wrong left and right. But, I am having a lot of fun exploring the world and working on my problem-solving skills. Let me show you what the game entails.
You are shown a picture like the one above and must imagine yourself standing between the two white arrows looking around for clues. Over on the left you will notice a red and white compass arrow. It allows you to look in a 360º direction. I looked at the landscape and immediately thought–high up and not much vegetation.
Next I started rotating the image and saw more hills with what looked like snow. Again the vegetation is very sparse. I wanted to see more so I kept rotating the picture.
This time I noticed higher mountains way in the background. The landscape reminded me of the pictures I had seen of the symbols scratched out in the earth in Peru where the Nasca people once lived. So I decided to take a guess (Spoiler–I shouldn’t have! I didn’t really consider whether those mountains way off in the distance resemble the Andes–they don’t!). I dropped a pin in southern South America near the Andes.
Where in the world do you think we are?
Here’s what you get when you rush—1 lousy point. Wrong hemisphere, wrong side of the equator—oh my, not a very good start. Let’s go on to Round 2.
Piece of cake, I thought. Look at those white birch trees. Just to be sure, I googled white birch environment and found North America. The residual snow hinted at northern North America, so I started to rotate the image for more clues.
Next clue is a paved road along a forest. Not much help because it could be almost anywhere in the northern United States or Canada. Need some more clues!
Ok, now I can see there is some type of business here. Looks a bit like wood cutting or a saw mill. But wait, is that a boat pulled up on land. It’s unlike any boat near where I live. I wonder if it is Canadian?
I continue to rotate the image and see water—fresh water. That structure looks like a lobster pound, but obviously it’s not because it’s in the middle of the woods. A fish farm???? On fresh water??? Need to keep looking for more clues.
Now I am convinced it’s a fish farm because those storage containers are not for grain or corn; they must be for feed for the fish. Still, fresh-water fish farming?
The game allows the player to zoom in so I am going in for a closer look.
Hmmm…an itty-bitty Ford tractor and the back of the boat has what looks like a design rather than words. Time to guess. Northern North America (birch trees, forest, snow), fish farming, a boat up on land for the winter–I am guessing somewhere in Canada. I drop my pin in eastern Canada. What do you think? Am I close or did I jump to conclusions about the writing on the back of the boat?
Finland! Where indeed they have fresh water fish farms! I earned a 1000+ points on this round, probably because I was near the correct latitude. I am off to play Round 3 even though I should be preparing for a presentation next week on video conferencing. Check out Geoguessr.com. It’s a great way to see and learn about our wide world. It works on any device. Have fun!