Smarty Pins Trivia Game Makes ‘Google Maps’ Educational
Google has a knack for making their services fun to use, and the company has recently released a fun new way to interact and learn with one of their most popular services, Google Maps.
This new feature, called Smarty Pins, turns Google Maps into a geographical trivia game that is appropriate for all ages.
When you first log on, you can either choose to start a game immediately, or choose a specific category for the questions. Categories include seasonal or featured topics, Arts & Culture, Science & Geography, Sports & Games, Entertainment, or History & Current Events.
Upon starting a game, you’re whisked away to somewhere in the world near the answer to the question. Your job is to read the question, make a guess, and drag and drop the map pin to where you think the answer is.
You start with 1,000 miles in the bank, and each time you submit an answer, the distance between your marker and the correct answer is deducted from your balance. Once you run out of miles, the game is over.
The way your score is determined is how many questions it takes you to run out of miles. If you guess well, you could answer dozens of questions or more before running out.
On the flip side, one bad answer can wipe out most or all of your miles.
When a new question is served, you have the opportunity to earn up to 15 bonus miles by answering quickly, but one mile ticks off each second. After 15 seconds, a hint is revealed but you won’t earn any bonus miles.
You can also choose to take a hint early by forfeiting the bonus miles.
You can play Smarty Pins by visiting http://smartypins.withgoogle.com/ from your computer or mobile device.
For a similarly fun, but much more challenging geography quiz, try GeoGuessr which drops you into a random Street View location around the world.
You can use the landscape, signage, and architecture around you to make an educated guess, but I find Smarty Pins to be much more simple and with higher replay value.
Scott Holm is a contributing writer for Learning Liftoff. Scott has more than 14 years of experience managing websites and publishing web content. As a tech-enthusiast, Scott enjoys writing about science and technology. Born and raised in the Portland, Oregon area, Scott is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys all kinds of outdoor activities, including hiking, snowboarding, wakeboarding, and summiting some of the tallest peaks in the Pacific Northwest. Scott is married to his high school sweetheart, Jennifer, and has two loving kids, a dog (Nemo), and a cat (Gizmo).