Test Your Geography Knowledge With Google SmartyPins

Screenshot from 2014-07-01 20:58:37
All images from smartypins.withgoogle.com.

Yesterday, Google launched SmartyPins, a geography game that lets you test your knowledge of geography, but Trivial-Pursuit-style.

You’re asked questions in one of six categories: Featured Topics, Arts & Culture, Science & Geography, Entertainment, Sports & Games, and History & Current Events. Then, place a pin on the map in the place that is the answer. You can take random questions or select the category to play in.

You start with 1,000 miles and lose them for every mile you are off. For example, if you get this question:

Screenshot from 2014-07-01 21:22:02

And for some reason, you decide that Milwaukee is the Windy City, you’ll lose 79 miles, as that is the distance from Milwaukee to Chicago:

Screenshot from 2014-07-01 21:23:28

If you answer quickly enough, you get bonus miles added to your score. This is where it helps to have a speedy internet connection. While I was able to play on slow hotel Wi-Fi, I never got bonus miles because I was always waiting for the map to load.

The better you do at the game, the more specific you’ll need to be with your answers. For example, when I started, “Chicago” was an acceptable answer. Later in the game, I dropped a pin on Washington, D.C., but lost two miles for it not being directly on the White House.

Play at smartypins.withgoogle.com.

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By day, Ruth works to make open source software communities better. The rest of the time, she makes things, which means her husband and kids know to watch out for stray sewing pins and to ask before eating anything made of fondant.