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12 months ago

Smarty pants meet Smarty Pins, the new travel game from Google

“Putting trivia on the map” is the tagline from the new travel trivia game from the Google team. The game places trivia questions within the context of a map, which creates an engaging place-specific means to explore and test understanding of the world.

Users are prompted to choose from the following categories: Featured Topics, Arts & Culture, Science & Geography, Sports & Games, Entertainment, and History & Current Events. Trophies are awarded for fast progressions and a leaderboard exists to incentivize friends to play and share.

The game functions by answering enough questions correctly without running out of miles, with more miles awarded for quicker thinking and miles deducted for misplacing pins. The distance from the right answer to the pin drop is removed from the mileage total, and speed bonuses boosting total mileage count.

Google's SmartyPins

These pins are what make the game so unusual, as the mechanic for answering questions is to drop a pin on the map for the answer.

This is yet another instance in which the map has become a de facto means of interacting with space, and another indication of how the map has become the standard interface for interactive travel transactions and experiences. The map is key to understanding the world, and games like this are catnip for those who enjoy engaging with that understanding.

Play the game here.

Nick Vivion

About the Writer :: Nick Vivion

Nick Vivion is a reporter for Tnooz, based in New Orleans, USA.

His passion for travel technology led him to travel around the world shooting travel videos for Current TV and Lonely Planet TV in 2006 and 2007.

He shot on Mini-DV, edited on a white MacBook, uploaded and shared online as he traveled. His moxie for travel video has resulted in over two million views on his YouTube partner channel.

In addition to travel, Nick co-founded of one of the web’s most talked about LGBT media sites, Unicorn Booty, and has gone "blog-to-brick" with a bricks-and-mortar restaurant called Booty's Street Food in New Orleans – serving street food from around the world.



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  1. John Pyle

    I just wasted an hour playing that :)

  2. Jon H

    This was all done so much better a few years back by Travel Pod’s Traveller IQ game on Facebook.


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