16 March, 2016
If you cannot travel the world, why not travel the Internet?
GeoGuessr is a new, online travel game. It teaches about geography, while visiting places far and wide.
The game is easy to play, but nearly impossible to win.
Geoguessr uses images from Street View from the technology company, Google. After looking at an image, you guess where the photograph was taken.
No matter how much you have traveled, you have not been to as many places as Google Street View. Its cameras have been busy taking photographs around the world.
How to Play the Game
Images can be searched broadly or by continent, country or city.
The program shows an image of a place and a map of the world. Some pictures are beautiful, while others look barren without much plant life. But the mix of scenery is part of the fun and learning.
You can zoom in or out of images. Or turn it around in circles. Images move forward and backward, and up and down to identify locations.
When you think you know where the photo was taken, click on the Google map to place your marker.
Click on the Make Guess button on the bottom of the map. A new image will appear, showing the distance between the area you chose and the actual location. Geoguessr will tell how many kilometers away you were and how many points you earned.
You get five chances to guess the location. After the fifth one, you see a map showing your guesses, the correct locations, and the number of points you earned.
Here are a few suggestions to help you identify what part of the planet you are seeing.
Look around and see if you can find any words on signs to show the local language. For example, if both French and English are on signs, Canada might be a good guess.
Look closely at the plants to see what the latitude might be. Palm trees may mean a more tropical climate.
Make a note of whether the cars drive on the right or the left side of the road. If vehicles are driving on the left, that narrows your guesses.
Look at road signs. If the road signs use international symbols, the location probably is not in the United States. Very few places in the U.S. use international road signs.
GeoGuessr can be played on a computer or a mobile device. You must be connected to the Internet.
The more you play the game, the better you will get at geography. Be careful, the game can get very addictive. The good news is Geoguessr is free and, you are unlikely to run out of places to see!
I'm Kathleen Struck.
Carolyn Nicander Mohr wrote this story for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.
Do you like geography games? Let us know in the Comments section below and on 51VOA.COM.
Words in This Story
geography - n. an area of study that deals with the location of countries, cities, rivers, mountains, lakes, etc.
impossible - adj. unable to be done or to happen : not possible
guess - v. to form an opinion or give an answer about something when you do not know much or anything about it
barren - adj. not exciting or interesting
scenery - n. a view of natural features (such as mountains, hills, valleys, etc.) that is pleasing to look at
location - n. a place or position
marker - n. something (such as a sign or an object) that shows the location of something
addictive - adj. very enjoyable in a way that makes you want to do or have something again