GeoGuessr

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GeoGuessr
GeoGuessr Logo.svg
Publisher(s)GeoGuessr AB
Designer(s)Anton Wallén
Platform(s)Web browser
Android
iOS
ReleaseMay 2013
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Geoguessr is a geographical browser game in which players guess locations from street view imagery. Launched in May 2013, the game now features multiple modes for both single- and multiplayer competitions.

The game has been described as a geographical educational tool, and players learn location-specific characteristics such as writing systems, soil types, and flora.

Gameplay[edit]

The GeoGuessr "classic" view

Modes[edit]

The "classic" Geoguessr game mode consists of five rounds, each showing a different street view location. The player scores more points (to a maximum of 5,000) depending on how close to the actual photo location they guess. Games may be user-generated or random.[1][2]

Alternative game modes include Battle Royale, a multiplayer last man standing game;[3] duels, a two-player head-to-head competition;[4] streaks, where players identify countries, U.S. states, or world cities until they guess incorrectly;[5][6] and explorer mode, a single-player game where medals are awarded for accuracy in individual countries.[7]

Interface[edit]

The game's HUD primarily features the Google Street View imagery, as well as a compass. Users can control the movement, panning, and zooming of the image, although Geoguessr allows any of these features to be disabled for harder gameplay.[8] An inset map, using Google Maps's standard overlay, allows players to place a pin to make their guess.

Strategy[edit]

Users may interpret their location from the photographs by reading road signage, finding the relative position of the Sun, identifying flora and soil types, and learning diacritics specific to particular writing systems.[9][10][11] Players can also make use of Street View metadata to ascertain their location – for example, the Street View vehicle that captured imagery north of Eswatini was unique in that it was green and had white roof racks.[12]

Distribution[edit]

Geoguessr has both free and paid (subscription) memberships. The free mode restricts users to 5 minutes' game play every 15 minutes.[13] Paid memberships are US$1.99 per month.[14]

Development[edit]

The game was designed by Swedish IT consultant Anton Wallén in 2013. Wallen loved to visit faraway locations on Google Street View, and initially designed a program to generate a random location in Street View before deciding to add a competitive element.[15]

The game's development took approximately 2 weeks' work,[2] and uses the Backbone.js JavaScript library and the Google Maps API for games using Google Street View.[16] Wallén posted the completed game to Google Chrome Experiments on 10 May 2013.[16]

As well as English, the game is available in eight other languages: Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.[a][17] Mobile apps for Geoguessr are available on the Android and iOS platforms.[18]

Reception[edit]

The launch of the game in May 2013 was described as successful, with the game instantly going viral.[19] Upon its release, the game was described as "insanely addictive",[10] although interest dropped until the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic; the game had a second peak in March 2021.[19] Interest in the game has been propagated on platforms such as Reddit, YouTube and Twitch, where notable users such as Tyler Oakley and GeoWizard have recorded or streamed themselves playing the game.[19]

The game has been cited as an educational tool by helping users to "develop critical skills to analyze geographical and cultural landscapes",[13] and it has been suggested that the game could enhance geographical education within the classroom.[20]

Geoguessr users have criticised some of the photographic coverage used in the game. Locations such as Zanzibar used third-party and unofficial imagery, and Geoguessr players have described some of this media as grainy, blurry, and over- or under-exposed.[11] World Travel in 360, the organisation that led the programme to supply coverage of Zanzibar, stated that "[their] mapping is better than nothing".[11]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ The GeoGuessr FAQ states that the game is "available in 10 different languages" but the "Change language" function lists only 9[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Keating, Joshua (10 May 2013). "Get Dropped Virtually Anywhere In The World And Try To Guess Where You Are". HuffPost UK. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Geoguessr: ¿Dónde diablos estoy?". vanguardia.com.mx (in Mexican Spanish). Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  3. ^ Antell, Filip. "What is Battle Royale?". Geoguessr. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  4. ^ Antell, Filip. "What are Duels?". Geoguessr. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  5. ^ Antell, Filip. "What is Country Streak?". Geoguessr. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  6. ^ Antell, Filip. "What are City Streaks?". Geoguessr. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  7. ^ Antell, Filip. "What is Explorer Mode?". Geoguessr. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  8. ^ Shrivastava, Aarnesh. ""Isn't Ireland next to Scotland?": Mizkif struggles to locate Scotland on the world map during GeoGuessr match". www.sportskeeda.com. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  9. ^ Wilde, Tyler (13 January 2022). "Watch these guys speedrun planet earth". PC Gamer. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  10. ^ a b Oremus, Will (15 May 2013). "A National Geographic Cartographer Explains How to Win That Google Maps Guessing Game". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  11. ^ a b c Deck, Andrew (8 April 2021). "Zanzibar's project to put itself on Google Street View has angered a legion of European video game streamers". Rest of World. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  12. ^ Winkie, Luke (21 December 2021). "GeoGuessr made figuring out where on Earth you are the hottest new esport". The Verge. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  13. ^ a b Lei, Tsai-ling (3 March 2022). "Design critique: GeoGuessr as an educational game". Medium. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  14. ^ Mizrahi, Delia (31 March 2022). "The Essay: Geoguessr Is Essential For Those With A Heart Full Of Wanderlust". Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  15. ^ Coldwell, Will (2 June 2013). "Where in the world am I? The addictive mapping game that is GeoGuessr". The Independent. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  16. ^ a b Pitcher, Jenna (13 May 2013). "Get lost with Google Maps-based game GeoGuessr". Polygon. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  17. ^ a b "GeoGuessr". GeoGuessr. Retrieved 5 June 2022. What languages is GeoGuessr available in? Hide GeoGuessr is available in 10 different languages. You can select language in the website footer under "Change language".
  18. ^ "General FAQ". Geoguessr. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  19. ^ a b c "How a 2013 Browser Game Made Its Comeback". Brandwatch. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  20. ^ Dixon, Seth (26 November 2013). "Using GeoGuessr in the Classroom". GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION. Retrieved 11 April 2022.

External links[edit]