You've probably played GeoGuessr when we linked it last week, a game that puts you in a random place using Google Maps' streetview and asks you to guess where you are. Willy Staley of The New York Times has been playing the game and explains "the thrill of visiting Japan... and thinking you're in Ireland."
Heres how it works: youre ?dropped off? at a random spot within the Street View universe, with no hints about your location but what Googles cameras have captured. It might be a bustling Brazilian city; it might be the middle of nowhere in Australia; it might be suburban South Africa. You have as much time as you like to explore the area then you drop a pin on a map to make your guess. Your score is calculated based on the distance between the pin and the actual location. You get five turns.
The most you can hope for, usually, is that you get the country right, because more often than not, youre dropped off in the middle of nowhere. Road signs help not only the language, but also the design and whether distances and speeds are measured in the metric or imperial systems. If there are other cars nearby, you can figure out which side of the road they drive on, which can help narrow things down. The landscape and foliage offer clues, too, but Ive learned to not infer much from eucalyptus trees. They grow all over the world, and have a way of making any place look like Australia or California.
If theres an interesting lesson in GeoGuessr, its that the world is huge and the law of averages reigns. Landmass is destiny. Brazil, the fifth-largest country in the world, was recently added to the Street View universe, and one of your turns will inevitably land there. The Lusophone world contains a forgivingly small number of nations, but Brazil itself is massive, so even finding Portuguese signage surrounded by tropical-looking foliage hardly helps your score. Even in the U.S., the two times I thought I had successfully identified Colorado, I was actually in Alaska, which we often forget is twice the size of Texas.
|Adventures In Sex City|
|How To Anger a Gamer|
|50 LEGO Designs out of 50 LEGO Pieces|
|Half-Life 2: Civil Protection: FRIDAY|
|“You become more difficult for an algorithm to understand, market to, or manipulate.”|
|"The machine had gotten inside the human’s head."|
|"You could be targeted for ads for things you don’t even realize that you like."|
|Smart Solar Panel Window Blinds|
|"Low-cost solar and human-powered vehicle."|
|Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans|
|"The most automated warehouse of its kind"|
|"How will that impact human evolution going forward?"|
|"Contact could mean extraordinary things for humanity if it happens soon."|
|"Maybe someone liked my stuff."|
|Changing the Oil of Your Car is so Easy, Even a Kid Can Do It|