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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Three Geography Games Based on Google Maps and Google Earth

One of the things that I emphasize to students before they embark on any kind of research or problem-solving task is to take a good long look at the information that they already have before them. To that end, I'll often request that they construct a list of what they know about a topic or problem before they begin to search. Playing one of the following three Google Maps-based games is a fun way to reinforce the concept of using prior knowledge and observations.

GeoGuessr is an addictive geography game that is based on the Google Maps Street View imagery. When you visit GeoGuessr you can choose to play as a single player or you can register to challenge another player. The game is played the same way whether you choose single player or challenge mode. To play you simply use the clues in a Street View image to formulate a guess on where in the world the imagery was captured. After making a guess GeoGuessr shows you the correct location and how far away from the correct location your guess was.

Place Spotting is a website of geographic riddles. Place Spotting is based on the Google Earth platform. Place Spotting users can create their own geographic riddles or try to solve riddles created by others. The search feature on Place Spotting lets users search for riddles based on level of difficulty, language, region, or creation date.

Where in the World? is a new-to-me game that I learned about from Maps Mania. On Where in the World? you can choose up to five categories of interest to you. Those categories are history, travel, royal attractions, nature & parks, and entertainment. Where in the World? will show you a Street View image and you have to choose the correct location from a list of three options. You have twelve seconds to make a selection. If you look at the picture and the answer choices carefully, you can quickly eliminate at least one of the answer choices.