Sunday, June 14, 2015

4055 An educational time-waster (oxymoron, or good excuse?)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Naturally, the common people don't want war, but after all,
it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy,
and it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy,
or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.
Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.
This is easy.
 All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists
for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.
 It works the same in every country.
--Hermann Goering--


I've been getting to bed very late the past few nights because I've been playing with GeoGuessr (  It uses Google maps street view to drop you somewhere in the world, and then you have to figure out where you are using things like the terrain, soil type, crops, which side of the road people drive on, architectural styles, appearance of populace, and so on.  You can travel around (slowly! until you figure out the secret for moving faster) and if you are lucky you'll find a sign that might give you a hint as to the language, and if you are very lucky, you might find a highway sign pointing to a town name, and if you are very very lucky you might stumble upon a hotel, resort, or restaurant with a unique name you can find on the internet.

Purists discourage looking up names on the internet, they consider that cheating, but sheesh, even if you have honestly determined you are definitely in France, France is a pretty big country.  You have to narrow it down somehow!

In a set, you get five different locations.  A perfect score is 5,000 points, so a perfect total for the five is 25,000 points.

I usually come very close on four of them.  I've frequently been within mere feet of the target point.  I'm usually within 30 miles. (Of course, I'm not above cheating, according to the purists....)  But I always completely, utterly, embarrassingly blow one, sometimes by whole continents!  South Africa looks a lot like Australia, for Pete's sake!  Or the American mid-west.  And those central European countries, and south Asian countries, all look alike, and with weird alphabets even if I do find a non-blurred sign, I can't search the internet for it.  It's usual I'll get only a few hundred points on those, and a couple times it's been a big fat 0 (you have to be on the wrong side of the globe to get that, DAMN! South Africa is NOT in Kansas!).  So my total for five maps usually runs around 18,800 points.

Play with it when you have some time.  Don't get discouraged too soon, it does take a little time to figure out how to, uh, cheat.  But it's fun, and it's amazing how much of the world looks like Kansas.

And if you do try it, please leave a comment. 


I'm working on one right now --- see my comment attached -------------


~~Silk said...

Right now I'm traveling down a paved 2-lane road in a temperate zone. I saw a US flag in a front yard, and a speed limit sign said 55, so I think I'm in the US. No farmland, the sides of the road is all trees, mostly tall and deciduous, not many pines. So far no aspens or birches. Because of the trees, I can't see far enough around me to tell if it's flat or hilly here. There's a lot of gravel on the side of the road, which leads me to believe that they might get a lot of snow. The road is lined with houses on fairly large lots, set back into the trees, so it's hard to see them, but the few I have seen look like small ranch-style houses. It's significant that they all have long driveways, but only one driveway has been paved. The rest are all gravel. So I'm led to believe that wherever this is, the people aren't rich, but the land is cheap. There a covered rowboat in one front yard. I have seen no fences, gates, or no trespassing signs, so I think I can assume the area is racially homogenous (experience with other GeoGuessr maps tells me that).

Any guesses? I'll update with a comment as I find out more.

~~Silk said...

The trees have opened up, and it's pretty flat here. This state uses those little orange flag-shaped signs to mark no-passing zones (I just passed one). That's also a sign of snow, since the dotted lines might be covered sometimes. I know Pennsylvania uses them, but somehow this doesn't look like Pa. Just passed a house with a concrete driveway, very badly cracked -- more sign of bad winters. Came to a "T", sign says "JCT 210". I turned left. Sign says "west 210", no indication of state. Starting to see evidence of farms now, huge rolls of hay. Houses still small, but lots of campers and RVs in yards, and small outboard boats. Must be a lake or river around here. Another US flag on a flagpole, outside what looks like a horse farm. Just passed a car towing a boat, outboard, headed same direction as I am. Heh, just passed an "Adopt a Highway" sign, for Mike Grunenwald. Googled him --- best bet is Dayton, Ohio, although Minnesota is possible. Big store on the right, "Aitkin Hardwoods", google it, yup, they're at 45216 State Highway 210, Aitkin, MN.

Bam! I guess I was right about hard winters. And waddya know, there's a bajillion lakes around there.

Now I find that address on, match it up to the little GeoGuessr map, and click it in. GoeGuessr says I'm 1.8 miles from the target point, and I get 4990 points. And that's how to cheat.

That's a confusing thing. I click on the map where I think my car currently is, and it seems like sometimes GeoGuessr measures from where my car actually is to where I clicked, and sometimes they measure from the *start* point to where I clicked. This time they used the start point, so that's how I ended up off by 1.8 miles. The times they use the actual location of my car, I'm off by feet. I wonder if that might be a bug.

Of course if I didn't cheat and use Google, I'd almost always be off by many miles, and I'd never notice a discrepancy. Oh well.