Scavengeroogle: A Google Maps Scavenger Hunt To Waste More Of Your Time On

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About Scavengeroogle
    Scavengeroogle is a scavenger hunt game where you use Google maps to find the location of a particular graphical clue. (see us in Wired Magazine)

Archive for April, 2005


4/29/05 | 6:02 pm | Solution: Say Hi To Your Mom

Wow. This was by far the hardest one yet. I think it even beat “Minnesota Pie”.

I dug my own grave with this one, by trying to be too cute with the word clues. The lesson here is, don’t try to come up with word clues 15 minutes before launching a clue! I am a dingle-bat, so it takes me about 1/2 hour to think up a suitable word clue. Then I usually spend about a half hour crossreferencing things in both google and google maps to make sure it’s not TOO easy.

I should’ve come up with a cool that was a pun on the town name, Fall River, instead. Sorry Ben

Ok, so let’s look at the damage. The solvers were so few and far between, I can actually go through each of them here:

John F. was the only one who found this after only the 2:56 clue drop. Props to him. He says:

84 minutes

I believe Tony A. and Scott L. got this soon after the 3:29 clue drop. Tony said it took him an hour. Scott notes:

I’ve been working for a couple of hours now, that was a bitch. And there are way too many St. Patrick Cemeteries in the world. Confusingly and confoundingly, there is also a st. Patrick’s Episcopal church in Somerset Maryland. What a pain, but how much fun to have solved!

A couple hours! I totally didn’t check into the different Somersets enough. I knew there was a Somerset in MD, but not about St. Patrick’s church. Belatedly, I realized that St. Patrick’s is just too common of a clue.

Veteran Jason C. found it around 4 o’clock. He says:

Found it easy when I looked in the right town (and state)

Angie S. and Ian T. got the answer around when the 4:17 clue was dropped. Tina found it around 5:00. She notes:

(Finally) Just couldn’t find the city…

Max sneaked in with a solution around 5:50. And that’s all there is!

By the way, Nathan L., who didn’t solve the clue but wrote in to say he’s been enjoying the site, says:

… dont’ worry about how easy or hard the clues are, just post them.

Um, yes but you didn’t get an email saying that someone wanted to “kick your ass”… granted a friendly kick in the ass. But still an asskick is an asskick.

Speaking of a kick in the ass, this one certainly was one for me to make better word clues. I’m going to try get some clues bright and early Monday morning (for me at least), so check back then round 9 a.m. PDT. Thank you all for playing!

Solution to “Say Hi To Your Mom”

4/29/05 | 1:59 pm | Say Hi To Your Mom

click to search using Google Maps

Well, as I stated earlier, we’ve chucked the “Difficulty” rating for clues for now. Way too subjective…

So, say hi to “Say Hi To Your Mom”. Yeah, yeah… I know it’s not exactly the letters HI in a row. It’s more of a diagonal “HI” and even then you’ve gotta twist your head a bit. But still I thought this clue sent in by Ben O. was interesting. Friendly buildings that want to say “Hi”!

By the way, I haven’t heard songs from Say Hi To Your Mom, the band. Are they any good?

I’ve been getting a lot of clue submissions that are actually famous places or places other google sightseeing sites have already listed. It’s actually easier to use completely unknown locations, because it levels the playing field a bit. Like, there’s less chance of someone living in the same city as a famous landmark and recognizing it right away. In fact, for the last clue more than one person who lived in Texas and even near the area had no idea where the flag was. Which is as it should be!

One of the best ways to come up with a clue is to search your hometown, which is what I believe Ben did here. (Note: if you know who Ben is, don’t play this one!)

Right. So you want the word clues. Gahh.. I am so bad at these. Please, please, if you submit a clue, try send in a clever word clue so my brain doesn’t fizzle trying to come up with one:

“Somerset Maugham enjoys St. Patty’s Day in a cemetery”

Sorry, it is long. Also watch your step, you almost squished a red herring…

This is the last clue till probably Sat night or Sunday Monday but you’ve only got until 6:00 p.m. PDT. That’s when I need to bail. Now, drop those work papers and get with the program!

[Edit: 2:56 PDT - Hm… silence. Er, how about remove the word “Maugham” from the clue? That be a red herring.]

[Edit: 3.29 PDT - Eeek. I’m sorry, y’all. This is proving tough. TGIF! Um. Maybe focus on “cemetery”?]

[Edit: 4.17 PDT - Someone wrote in that they wanted to “kick my ass sideways”, so I better drop another clue: Not in MD. ]

Clue Name :Say Hi To Your Mom
Submitted by: Ben O.
Status : Solved (8)
Duration: 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. PDT

Solved By: John F, Tony A, Scott L, Jason C, Angie S, Ian T, Tina, Max

Word Clues : “Somerset Maugham enjoys St. Patty’s Day in a cemetery”
Magnification Needed: 13/15

SOLUTION TO “Say Hi To Your Mom”

4/29/05 | 1:12 pm | OT: Anybody in Oregon?

Sorry for the off topic post. I’m going to post up a new clue around 2:00 PDT or so. But in the meantime… I noticed (from the “Teacup” clue) that some of you are from Oregon or go to school there. I’m thinking of taking a trip there some time, but I’m not sure yet. Would you have any recommendations (besides Crater Lake which I’ve been to when I was a kid) for places to visit? If so, could you leave a comment… thx!

4/29/05 | 1:03 pm | Solution: Texas Pride

Ravenous Scavengeroogles! Every one of you. We got a lot of differing opinions on how hard this clue really was.

On that note, I’ve really come to realize that the so-called “Difficulty” rating is really nothing more than a subjective guess on my part. It goes like this: people who are playing for the first time and “get lucky” or happen to live in the area will think the clue is too easy. On the other hand, veteran Scavengeroogles who are actually really good at this may get unlucky and start looking in exactly the wrong place, and then become frustrated that I gave the clue such an “easy” Difficulty. Ugh.

As such I’m going to drop the “Difficulty” rating as it don’t do us any favors! But I’ll certainly state in the clue whether I THINK it’s hard or not. =)

Anyhow, the word clue was too easy I agree… it don’t take a genius to google that. Greg J said:

You had me going, but trusty ole’ regular Google search got me straightened out.
Thanks! Love the site!

But lots of people already knew the clue had to do with Weezer. I still love that Blue album and play it every so often. From Ian T:

Woo-ee-oo, I look just like Buddy Holly.
Oh-Oh, and you’re Mary Tyler Moore.

Yeah! Fonz! “I don’t care what they say about us anyway. I dont care about that!” Eric W chimes in:

I knew that the clue featured lyrics from Weezer’s Buddy Holly so, as any good Texan would know, I immediately checked out Lubbock. I noticed in the photo on with the clue that there was an amphitheater so I Googled for Lubbock amphitheaters!

Once again, a lot of you are playing at work (or putting off your finals). From Leroy T:

It took me about 30 minutes. This is fun. I bet I could do it quicker without these stupid interuptions at work. :0)

Simple solution to that really. Clue your boss into the site, and then you can all Scavengeroogle together…

Solution to “Texas Pride”

4/29/05 | 8:00 am | Texas Pride

click to search using Google Maps

Howdy, pardner. Someway or another, all roads lead back to Texas. At least for Scavengeroogle clues. So anyhow, Mike Z. sent in this cool shot of a honest to goodness Texas flag painted on top of some building or other. His original word clues were going to involve sports teams, but he mentioned another angle on it that might be possible and I decided to go with that instead.

So the word clues for this are: “What’s with these homies dissin’ my girl?” You read that right. Homies. Dissin’. Girl.

I don’t think this wouldn’t be such a hard clue, except that the flag is pretty much only visible at 14/15 and isn’t out in the wilderness where it could be easily spotted. So I gave it a “6″ for difficulty. We shall see. Hm… I don’t believe I’ve ever given a difficulty greater than 7. Maybe clues should be on a scale of 1-7…

Oh yeah, resuming the experiment… we’re doing time trials again today. Everyone who gets a solution in before the cutoff gets listed. And of course I may drop a 2nd hint midway through, so if you get frustrated y’all come back then. This clue should launch at 8:00 a.m. PDT if all goes well. You’ve got until 1:00 p.m. PDT. Five hours for a chance at fame and glory. Hup, hup!

[Edit: 10:48 PDT - Clues rollin’ in, so I think we’ll hold off on a second clue for now. Happy friday… ]

Clue Name : Texas Pride
Submitted by: Mike Z.
Status : Solved
Duration : 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. PDT

Solved By: Sara P, Mike M, Tina, Chris R, Ryan, Eric W, Phil, Kristopher W, Daniel M., Greg J, James C, JR F, Brian, Ramy, John F, Carl, Shawn D, Leroy T, Steve A, Mark, Ja, Rick B

Word Clues : “What’s with these homies dissin’ my girl?”
Magnification Needed: 14/15
Difficulty : 6/10

SOLUTION TO “Texas Pride”

4/28/05 | 9:07 pm | Solution: Not The RED Button!

There’s the bell. Whew! I sort of like the “race” idea where there’s a deadline, so I think we may stick with some sort of time deadline for awhile.

All that work for just a little wisp next to a road. I sort of liked this one still, because it looked like many things. Ghost, fire, fog, smoke, google defect, take your pick!

It’s located in Custer State Park, which I hadn’t heard of, in South Dakota. It took quite a bit of searching for many… the average time needed for the early solvers was more than an hour. But they did it without the “Hwy 16″ clue which is pretty amazing. Charlie E. wrote:

Custer’s ghost has a pretty big park to roam around in…

Yeah… after the slow start to this one, I thought I’d better drop the second clue fast. Things picked up after that. Though the clue overall was harder than some earlier ones, some people evidently enjoyed the time wasted. Kyle M. said:

… 15 minutes during finals week. great time waster, lots of fun.

As to what this thing actually is, opinions varied though most, like Shawn D., found humor in it:

toughie! I like the ghost explanation. Maybe one of the presidents on Mt.
Rushmore blowing smoke rings?

But I still like my Secret Government Base In The Woods hypothesis best…

Solution to “Not The RED Button!”

4/28/05 | 2:11 pm | Not The RED Button!

click to search using Google Maps

What, 3 clues in a day? Well, I wanted to experiment with something, so here you go!

So, the experiment is… I am testing out a new way of doing “Pending Solutions”. Instead of just taking the first five solutions, I am going to take ALL correct solutions sent in before a given deadline. Note that I am on Pacific Time (PDT?). If I get too many, as in hundreds, I am going to have to not write them all down. I’m just testing this out to see if we can give more people an opportunity to solve the clues while still rewarding the “first” people to solve it…

The Deadline for this clue is: Today (Thurs) 9:00 p.m. PDT

Haha, I sort of picture the scenario for this clue as a top secret government bunker hidden in the woods. Noobie Worker, who has just been transfered here as punishment, has wandered into the top secret control room. Fat Lazy Armchair General, looking to show Noobie Worker a good time, gestures to the control panel of thousands of buttons and says “I bet you can’t tell me which of these buttons launches our New-Fangled Missile Interceptor.” Noobie Worker, who watches too much Looney Toones, immediately reaches over Fat Lazy Armchair General and slams the Big Red Button marked “Do Not Press”. And Fat Lazy Armchair General screams, “Not The RED Button…!”

*Explode*

Hurhhh, huhhr… sometimes I funny. Anyhow, this looks to be a google defect, though Josh H. doesn’t rule out the possibility of it being either a smoke cloud or fire. What do you think it is? Your word clue, if you should choose to accept this mission, is “Custer’s ghost roaming the highway”. I’ve omitted an important item in Josh’s original word clue… the number of the highway. I may or may not be giving that away later on, should it prove too difficult…

[Edit: *Ding* Two hours have passed so I feel obliged to offer up the magic number: HWY 16. Don’t get yer hopes up though… there’s a LOT of HWY 16]

Clue Name : Not The RED Button
Submitted by: Josh H.
Status : Solved
Duration : 2:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. PDT

First Solved By: Curt M., Charlie E., Jason C., James C.
Solved After 2nd Clue: Amanda, Justin, Jon, Rich T., Robert M., Chris C., Kyle M., Tony A., Jared R., Shawn D., Michael J., Mike S.

Word Clues : “Custer’s ghost roaming the highway”
Magnification Needed: 13/15
Difficulty : 5/10

SOLUTION TO “Not The RED Button”

4/28/05 | 1:58 pm | Use “Link To This Page”

Hey kids, a quick note. When sending in a Google Map URL please use the “Link To This Page” and NOT the URL in the location bar of your browser! As seen in the screengrab to the left. If you just copy the URL, it won’t necessarily copy the correct location! Try it for yourself and see. I’ve been tossing a lot of clues and solutions because of this…

For more information, please visit the FAQ

4/28/05 | 12:47 pm | Solution: Question Mark

Egads, you are all faaaaast. A good number of solutions, even though I thought this one was tough. Not everyone needed to use the word clue, which was “C and Cake” = “Sea and Cake” which is an indie band from… Chicago. I was trying to somehow work in Elliott Smith’s “A Question Mark” into the clue but it just didn’t fit.

So, Chicago peeps, what is this thing anyhow… obviously some sort of pier of sorts. I had thought I’d seen this featured on the Travel Channel, but it might have been a differrent structure.

Oh, remember not to put the solution to clue in the “Comments” section. And that’s actually the reason I have the comments on “Moderation” because a person who is new to the site may inadvertently post the solution. Use the Solve A Clue Form instead.

Also, please remember to use the “Link To This Page” thingy in Google Maps to copy the location of your clue solution. DON’T grab the URL from the location bar of your browser as this will not give the correct location. You need to use the “Link To This Page”…

Solution to “Question Mark”

4/28/05 | 9:50 am | Question Mark

click to search using Google Maps

Fresh off the press. I have a feeling this one might be too easy, but I likes the looks of it. It looks like the top part of a question mark or the way a cat curls its tail. It also looks like an inverted “C”. Well, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch. But too bad. That’s the clue you’re going to get: “C and Cake”. Since this feature is really recognizable at 10/15 and I have a feeling local residents are going to get it right away, I felt I needed to have a completely non-geographic word clue. Thinking caps: on…

Hm…actually, I think I may have seen this Question Mark on TV before…?

Man, thinking up these word clues are keeping me up at night! If you submit a clue, make sure to submit a word clue along with it so my brain doesn’t explode from trying to think these up.

P.S. If you are coming here from College Humor, welcome! Look around and try out some of the clues; Even though the majority have been officially “solved” that doesn’t mean you can’t try them out too! New clues posted daily as well.

Clue Name : Question Mark
Submitted by: Scavengeroogle Admin
Status : Solved
First Solved By : Andrew, James C., Jared R., Ramy, Tina

Word Clues : “C and Cake”
Magnification Needed: 10/15
Difficulty : 5/10

SOLUTION TO “Question Mark”

4/28/05 | 9:18 am | Solution: I’m A Little Teacup

Whew! I think I underestimated how recognizable “Go Ducks” would be (well, that was the exact clue I got from Wes). I don’t know much about sports so… hehe. But I liked this teacup shape, it was cool. How easy? Brian R. writes:

5 minutes or so. Once I found out the U of Oregon was in
Eugene it wasn’t too hard

and Jason C. writes:

Actually an easy one to find given I’m from Arizona and knew immediately what Go Ducks meant. Also I live near fields and recognized the RR tracks next to it and from that found it very quickly.

So when do YOU Scavengeroogle? I thought this was funny… Shawn D. says:

Too easy. But still lots of fun. I got this one in ten minutes. While on the
phone with clients.

Dude, yeah. Multitasking is where it’s at.

Anyhow, you may be wondering why I listed the first TEN solutions instead of the the first five. Well, I got so many solutions in such a short window of time, that I some were most certainly ties. So I decided to put up more names for this one. We’ll have to see in the future if this many responses come in… I may have to permanently list 10 names instead of 5!

Looks like we got some new blood too… my logs show a lot of people coming from the College Humor site which I haven’t seen before. Welcome, welcome new Scavengeroogles!

Solution to “I’m A Little Teacup”

4/28/05 | 7:30 am | I’m A Little Teacup

click to search using Google Maps

This clue was submitted by Wes B. and guess what… it’s not in Texas! Amazing. Anyhow, this is quite visible at 10/15 so I’m predicting it will rate around a 3 or so difficulty. In other words, it shouldn’t be too bad. Famous last words.

Wes’s original clue title was actually “I’m a Little (Sideways) Teacup” but I truncated that for brevity. Interestingly, the sideways cup also look sort of like a high heel. Here is his word clue: “Go Ducks”. I think that should be very doable, but as always I’m more than willing to drop another clue if it proves difficult going.

A side note: I just realized I can future date posts… so that way i can get you your clues earlier in the morning (especially for those east coasters).

Clue Name : I’m A Little Teacup
Submitted by: Wes B.
Status : Solved
First Solved By : Mike Z.,Robert M., Bill P., Dan K., James C., Jason C., Matt R., Blake L., Shawn D.,Brian G.

Word Clues : “Go Ducks”
Magnification Needed: 10/15
Difficulty : 3/10

SOLUTION TO “I’m A Little Teacup”