|Release date(s)||9 May 2013|
|Mode(s)||One-player with time limit and score challenge modes.|
GeoGuessr is a web-based geographic discovery game designed by Anton Wallén, a Swedish IT consultant. The game utilizes random Google Street View locations and requires players to guess their location in the world using only the clues visible in Street View. GeoGuessr quickly became popular after it was released on 9 May 2013. It has been reviewed by numerous media organizations and featured on websites such as the webcomic xkcd. The website received hundreds of thousands of unique visitors per day just a week after being released.
Wallén has commented that the idea for GeoGuessr stemmed from his love of visiting far away locations on Google Street View and the way in which it gave a visitor the sense of actually being there, and so he decided to add a game element to the idea of Google Street View. The development of the game took a couple of weeks over a period of several months. Following completion, Wallén posted the game to Google Chrome Experiments on 10 May 2013.
Gameplay and reviews
GeoGuessr places the player on a series of five randomly determined locations somewhere in the world. In reality, however, the locations are limited to roads and other paths which have been photographed by Google Street View cameras, which do not include every country (see Google Street View#Coverage for list).
The Street View window of GeoGuessr does not provide any information beyond the street view itself. Things such as road signs, vegetation, businesses, climate, and landmarks have been suggested as some clues which may help the player determine his or her location. The player may also move about along the roads through the normal directional controls provided by Street View. Once the player is ready to guess the location, a location marker is placed on a zoom-able Google Map. After the marker is placed, GeoGuessr reveals the true geographic location and assigns the player between 0 and 6500 points, depending on how far away the player's guess was. A new location is then provided to the player, and this process repeats until the player has guessed five locations.
GeoGuessr allows for players to post their scores to social media sites or to challenge other players with the same five street view locations. Newer features include a time limit for challenge modes.
GeoGuessr has been praised by many news organizations upon its release, citing its educational value, simplicity of play and addictiveness. There are no official rules for GeoGuessr, but many reviewers have speculated on rules which they believe should be enforced. One common "house rule" is a prohibition on googling things which are seen in the Street View window through the use of a different tab or another window.
Wallén and reviewers have commented on the perceived over-representation of Australian locations. Australia, being sparsely populated in vast areas of its interior, is reported by reviewers as being a particularly challenging location. Wallén reported that Australian locations were showing up more often than they should, and said that the game's programming has been changed to correct this and other issues of geographic imbalance.
- Keating, Joshua (21 May 2013). "GeoGuessr: Where in the (Googleable) world are you?". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- Isaacson, Betsy (10 May 2013). "GeoGuessr Uses Google Street View To Take Players On A World Journey". Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- Munroe, Randall (20 May 2013). "GeoGuessr". xkcd. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- Morini, Thiago Ferrer (26 May 2013). "Geoguessr: ¿Dónde diablos estoy?" [Geoguessr: Where the hell am I?]. Vanguardia (in Spanish). Retrieved 18 June 2013.
- Coldwell, Will (2 June 2013). "Where in the world am I? The addictive mapping game that is GeoGuessr". The Independent. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
- Wallén, Anton (10 May 2013). "GeoGuessr". Chrome Experiments. Google. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- Femia, Will (16 May 2013). "Find yourself with Geoguessr". The Maddow Blog (MSNBC). Retrieved 18 June 2013.
- Wallén, Anton (11 June 2013). "GeoGuessr Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
- Oremus, Will (15 May 2013). "How to Beat GeoGuessr, the Insanely Addictive Google Maps Guessing Game: Tips and tricks from a National Geographic cartographer.". Slate. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
- Wallén, Anton (19 May 2013). "GeoGuessr Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 17 June 2013.