Thursday, September 14, 2017

10 Street View Games to Kill Your Day

1. GeoGuessr

There are lots of 'Can you guess the Street View?' type games but there is only one GeoGuessr. GeoGuessr is probably the most popular Google Maps geography game.

In this geography game you are shown a random Street View image and you must try to guess where in the world the Street View was taken. Once you have guessed you are shown how close your guess was to the correct location and awarded points based on how near you guessed.

What really sets GeoGuessr apart from other Street View guessing games is GeoSettr! With the release of GeoSettr you can now create your own GeoGuessr game based on your favorite locations and Street Views. Using GeoSettr you can create your own GeoGusser game of five questions. All you have to do is choose five locations on a Google Map and then you then get a unique link to your game that you can share with your friends.

2. Brick Street View

This one isn't strictly a game but who isn't going to have fun seeing their house turned into Lego. Brick Street View does just that, re-imagining Google Maps and Google Street View as they might appear in Legoland.

Type your address into this Legoized Google Map and then drop the Lego Pegman onto your street. You can then actually view your house as it might look if it was built with those little plastic colored bricks. Brick Street View works anywhere in the world where Street View appears on Google Maps. So after viewing your Lego house you can take a tour of some of the world's most famous monuments as they also might look in Legoland.

Brick Street View works by using the undocumented depth data stored in Street View. It uses this data to create a depth map which can be used to plot geometry and sprites in the 3d space of the Street View panorama.

3. Sakura

Have you ever wanted to cherry bomb your house. Thanks to this beautiful application you can now view your house covered in cherry blossom on Google Maps Street View.

Sakura allows you to visualize how your house might look if you could transport it to Japan in the springtime, just at the moment when the cherry blossom is in full bloom. The effect is so amazing that it can even transform my grey London street into a road where I might actually be happy to live.

4. Earth-Picker

On the surface Earth-Picker is very similar to GeoGuessr. In the game, like in GeoGuessr, you are shown a series of random Street View scenes. The object of the game is to try to guess the location of the depicted Street View image. To do this you simply place a marker on a Google Map to show where you think the Street View image is from.

What sets Earth-Picker apart from other Street View guessing games is the neat way it shows how close your guess was to the real location. Like in other Street View guessing games you are awarded points based on how close your guess was to the real location. However Earth-Picker also places a blue circle around the depicted location.

This blue circle shows you the average distance that all the other users of the game were to guessing the correct location. Therefore for each Street View image that you guess you are able to instantly see whether you beat most other users, or whether your guess was worse than most other players.

5. My Name is Hunt

My Name is Hunt is the world's first Street View based text adventure game. In this game you have to follow a number of clues to stay alive. Each textual clue is accompanied by a Street View image showing you where you are in your search for numerous antidote syringes which have been hidden around Rio de Janeiro.

Each clue is also accompanied by two (or more) paths for you to choose from. Choose wisely as each turn you take in this game costs you a little health. If your health reaches zero before you find an antidote then you will die.

6. Where in the World

Where in the World is another 'guess the location on Street View' game. In this fun game, however, you are helped a little as the locations are all well-known locations from around the world. All you have to do is choose the correct location for each Street View from three different answers.

The game allows you to choose from five different categories, History, Travel, Royal Attractions, Nature and Parks & Entertainment. Once you have selected your categories you are shown 10 different Street View images and your job is to guess where in the world each image is from.

The main difficulty with Where in the World is the time element. You are only given twelve seconds to answer each question, which isn't really enough time to explore the Street View scene in any detail. However, even with the time element, I found it easy to get ten out of ten each time I played. But then I spend way too much of my time exploring the world on Street View.

7. Allstate Holiday Home Decorator

If you are getting tired of roaming the world on Street View then why not enjoy a few relaxing moments at home, decorating your house on Google Maps Street View. The Allstate Holiday Home Decorator allows you to decorate your house on Street View with a number of Christmas themed decorations.

To decorate your home just enter your address into the Holiday Home Decorator. You will then be shown a Google Maps Street View of your home. Once you have the Street View image of your house you can add Christmas lights, candles, decorations, Christmas presents, trees and a little snow to the scene. When you are happy with the design of your Street View Christmas card just press the 'share your home' button and you can send a unique link to your card via Twitter or Facebook.

8. Urbanopticon

How well do you know your city? Test your knowledge with Urbanopticon. Yes, this is another Street View location guessing game but this time you get to contribute to a citizen science project while you play.

By now the formula of the game should be familiar - look at the Street view image and try to guess where in the world it is from. As you play, however, you are also helping Urbanopticon develop a collective mental map of your city based on your answers and the answers of other players. Using these answers the team can begin to answer questions about which areas in cities are memorable, why some areas are more memorable than others and how developers / city planners can better build communities that help make people feel more at home.

9. The Division Map of New York

This one is also not strictly a Street View game but it will appeal to fans of Ubisoft's video game of Tom Clancy's The Division. It also might appeal to New Yorkers interested in how their city might look in a dystopian future. The Division Map of New York features a number of 360 degree panoramic Street View images which allow you to explore scenes of New York as portrayed in the on-line game. These Street View images show a post-pandemic New York, devastated by the effects of a deadly disease which has brought chaos to the streets of America.

10. Spacehopper

Spacehopper is another great Street View based geography quiz. The game was built for school kids studying geography but is lots of fun for us slightly older kids as well.

The game presents you with a series of Street View images from locations around the world (with the odd photo thrown in for good measure). The object of the game is to guess the location of the Street View image by clicking on a Google Map. To help you in this task the possible locations are marked on the map with a little red dot.

You get three attempts to get the correct answer to each Street View. If you are struggling you can also ask for clues. The game includes some user settings that allow you to restrict the views shown to various regions around the globe.
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