Given that many Americans are about to head out on the road to celebrate this great country’s independence from British oppressors, it follows that a lot of you will be making heavy use of Google Maps. That’s all well and good for your getting-around-town purposes, but what if there were a way to make Google Maps fun? Now there is, thanks to the company that makes Google Maps, Google. Mountain View’s puckish programmers have put together a trivia game that has you answer geographical trivia questions by placing pins on one of their marvelous computerized maps. You start with a bank of 1,000 miles, and every time you answer, you lose miles depending on how far you were from the correct location. The game is called Smarty Pins, and while the writing could use a bit of work—the questions range from easy to rather hard with little in between—overall, it’s a lovably silly entry in the vast genre of cartographic web browser trivia quizzes.
This link comes to us by way of kottke.org, where Jason Kottke also recommends GeoGuessr, which gives you a Google Street View and asks you to identify where in the world you are. See? I told you this was a vast genre. So vast.