GeoGuessr: Street View location guessing game

Anton Wallén created GeoGuessr, a fun game where you have to guess at the location of Google Maps Street View images. Not only am I terrible at geography, I haven’t seen nearly enough of the planet. READ THE REST

Oh come on, David, my parents have been playing this for weeks now!
My mum’s pretty damn good too, doesn’t google road signs or anything!


This game is like crack. I just killed an hour driving up and down desert highways looking for street signs. It was worth it - I just set my personal best score! Give it a shot -

And no using the internet to cheat! :slight_smile:

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No URL shorteners, please.

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Holy hell, you had a great score! Some of those were really hard, I’m impressed with how close you came. Had I had more time I might have given you a run for your money, though :wink:

The urls are what geoguessr gives you to share a challenge with others.


Unfortunate, since they’re also the primary way that spammers deliver you to an attack page.

I love Geoguessr. I introduced it to a couple of my classes (I teach in an alternative school, and stuff like this is great… entertaining and educational), and we played a few times before the end of the school year. I also introduced it to my parents and in-laws when they came to visit. We spent an hour+ playing together. Best score I’ve gotten was just over 20,000 and one of the last times, I guessed perfectly. Proud.

Strangely, a perfect guess netted something like 6,452 points or some similar non-round number. I am a little curious about the scoring system works.

Sorry, my bad on the URL shorteners.

The 4th of the 5 rounds was insanely difficult…I sorta lucked into that one. :slight_smile:

I played this a few times when it was mentioned on xkcd. I only rarely got the wrong continent, with an average error of under 1000 miles without doing any googling of clues. The secret to my success? I looked at the road stripes for a hint of where I was. That and the appearance of the text on signs.

I’ve found that there are three primary types of geoguessr player.

  1. The educated guesser may travel down the road a bit, but in the end makes a raw guess based on what they see alone. I’ve seen average scores in the neighborhood of 11,000-20,000. Some of these players also see anyone who does research (extensive or otherwise) as cheaters.

  2. The researcher may travels down many roads and uses the internet to try and get close to the location.

  3. The obsessive compulsive (me, btw) goes to any length and uses google maps w/ street view to try and pinpoint the locations as closely as possible, often within a couple of meters. They often get the max score of 32,395.

I’m generally amused by those that think that doing research is “cheating”. The game does not come with any rules about it so the manufacturing of one is curious. I think it’s a measure by which the various types of players hold their score relative to others. “If you get a much higher score than I do, but play differently (i.e. not the way I play), then I categorize your method as cheating.” Rather than, say, accepting that different types of players are acceptable.

The fact that there is a maximum score suggests that attempting to reach it is a valid game goal.

In the end, there’s room for all types of players and the recent inclusion of timed challenges let others play on equal footing.

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Boom! 11833 first try! Just pivoting and no research…a purist approach

Relevant xkcd

There sure are a lot of desolate highways.

Best I’ve ever done was 3 meters from the targeted spot somewhere in a city in central brazil.

I’m with you, it’s supremely satisfying to hone in from the entire planet to such a precise spot.

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Been loving this game for many weeks. It draws on so many areas of knowledge, and not just geography: you use botany, geology, and linguistics (for signs and street names) in guessing.

A couple rules make it more fun:

  • Googling is cheating.
  • Once you get good, try “antipode mode”, going for the lowest score: once you think you have the given location, guess the opposite point on the globe.
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I’ve perfected it a few times. I don’t go by anything other than what I can see in the image, and sometimes I forbid myself from moving around.

This game is definitely a lot more fun to play with friends, though! It turns into a lot of arguing about where you are.

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This game makes me realize that my knowledge of trees isn’t particularly fine grained. I can tell the difference between deciduous, coniferous, and trees found in the tropics, but that’s about it. And I still had to look up how to spell “deciduous.”

Another observation: even if you correctly determine you’re in Australia, you can still be really far off.

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I like that there are no actual rules. I can appreciate the challenge of not googling, but at the same time, doing the extra research is a large part of the fun for me. It has led me to wikipedia articles and other things full of interesting information about places I probably would not have read about otherwise, and I’ve learned about roads and road signs, plants, cars, etc. around the world. I mean, I know more about that stuff than your average American already, but I see games like this as a chance to learn even more, not to limit myself for the sake of a challenge.

Along the lines of this game, earlier this year the British Library had an online system where you were challenged to georeference scanned old maps: (my “score” is 131 on the “Participants” page if you want to find out my real name). It usually involved a whole lot of external research to figure things out - here’s one of the more difficult ones I did. It was great fun. Of course, I’ve done this professionally as part of my research - I’ve georeferenced hundreds of scanned maps.

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When I do an image search for a plant, it’s quite common for me to look at a fairly tightly cropped image and know not only that it’s at Strybing in San Francisco, but exactly what bed it’s in.