How well do you know your geography?
Geography needs to be more than workbooks filled with maps or worksheets matching capitols and country names. Growing up we use to play a game of spin the globe and guessing where our finger landed. Or, open the Atlas and name a city for everyone else to guess the country of origin. Fast forward twenty years and we found a technological interactive version of spin-the-globe, GeoGuessr.
Staying with my theme of “resources that bring little clutter to the classroom”, GeoGuessr brings a competition edge to the random Google Maps exploration. The first night we played with the on-line game, we were entranced for three hours . . . pushing each other away from the computer to unravel the clues and find where in the world we landed.
GeoGuessr uses Google Maps Street View to drop you somewhere in the world, allowing you to move forward any direction and try to guess your location based on environmental clues. Looking around you can see street signs, buildings, vegetation, or analyze the local population for nationality. Sometimes it is obvious where you’ve landed, and occasionally we spend minutes circling around for hints. Our favorite version for new players is the “Famous locations”. Second favorite for the younger crowd has been “United States”, followed with the world scavenger hunt for those most travelled. Each guess gives you points based on how close you identify your location on a map. The game was created by Anton Wallen of Sweden during the cold winter nights of Sweden.