Playing Games with Street View

Google has opened their database of Street View images and information, allowing developers to create games and other applications. Here are just a few that might be of use in your classroom.

GeoGuessr – One of the original examples of using Street View in a guessing game format. Play is simple: the user is presented with a random scene in Street View and must put a pin on the map as close to the location as possible. The closer you get, the more points you earn. After five rounds you get a total score.

GeoSettr - Using GeoSettr you can create your own GeoGuessr 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 anyone so they can play.

GR8CTZ – Like GeoGuessr, except the locations are all cities. Walk around, observe the cluses and make a guess. On the Level 1 of the game you start in an iconic spot like Times Square or Red Square. On the Level 2 you start in the random location in a city and will be teleported to a landmark after two unsuccessful tries.

Pursued – Wrapped in a spy game in which you have been kidnapped and dropped in a random city, you must escape by identifying your location. The opening animation is cute but the theme may not be appropriate for elementary kids.

Earth-Picker – Similar in game play to GeoGuessr but the locations are generally seem to be easier since they seem to be limited to major cities and well-known landmarks.

Street View Player – This one is pretty simple. Enter a starting and ending point and hit play. The site will then show the images you would see following that route in Street View. You have a few options, include mode of transportation and speed.

Smarty Pins – This game doesn’t use Street View but is based on finding locations on Google Maps. In each round, you get a trivia question that has a map location as the answer. Points are awarded based on how close your guess is to the actual location. Questions are classified in six categories and players can choose to limit questions to one of them. Warning: some of the questions are a little quirky (not sure how many of your students will know who Warren Zevon was :-).

Street View Hyperlapse - This isn’t exactly a game but is a good example of the potential of Street View. Some programmers have created videos using hyper-lapse photography, a technique combining time-lapse and sweeping camera movements typically focused on a point-of-interest, that stitch together sequential Street View images into a video. You can try it out by choosing a route along which to drive.