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 September, 2005

9/28/05 | 9:42 pm | Solution: PSP Pool

I’m in a bit o’ rush so without further ado, here is the solution to PSP Pool:

Solution to “PSP Pool”

And yer write-ins.

Chorbansi was first:

Took me less than a minute. I immediately thought of Astoria, New York, and there it was in all its iridescent glory. It is good to be back, thanks.

Ananth R notes:

Time to solve: about 30 sec.

“A story A”bout Greece = Astoria, NY, Greek neighborhood of Queens.

Some Judy B quickness:

Got it right away! Woohoo!

Mike B went to Oregon first:

“A Story About” -> “Astroia”
Astoria, OR had no hi-res images, so off to NY.

Citizen blazed:

30 seconds. I’m not kidding.

Shawn D did go on a quickie Greek adventure:

About two minutes. After a quick Athens trip, I remembered your fondness for puns. I’ve been to Astoria, great food. Got it quick after that.

BTW, it’s Astoria Park pool.

Bernd sez:

10 minutes maybe, wasn’t too hard

Tim J already has a PSP in the house:

Another quick one, just a couple of minutes. Wow, that really does look like my son’s PSP. Good clue!

Jen S got it after some misdirection:

I was all over the place yesterday, then decided today to make A story into Astoria, googled Astoria Greece and got a link to a Greek newspaper in Astoria, NY - only a minute of searching from there!

Aaron B cluemastered:

Took me a little time to find the PSP but then, poof, there it was.

Followed the same line of thought as with the last clue:
A Story About => Astoriabout => Astoria

and then googled that with “Olympic Pool” and there it was.

David H sped along:

Took three or four minutes. I picked up on the Astoria part pretty quickly. Still not sure about the Greece part. Is it because it’s an Olympic sized pool?

and newcomer Chris picked up his first solution send-in:

First time submitting, though I did play a few others after they were closed. I found this in about 30 - 45 minutes, looking first in the wrong place. Greece had olympics in my head, so I looked around Olympic sites for a bit. Then I got Astoria out of it, and knowing there was an Astoria in NY, it took seconds from there. Great game!

Yes, that does it and I am out of here… video game time! =)

Solution to “PSP Pool”

9/27/05 | 11:14 am | PSP Pool

click to search using Google MapsHey there. Hi there. Ho there. I was going to launch this clue tomorrow but decided to just make it a two day affair that launched a little late for today. This looks sort of like one of them new-fangled PSP game things turned counterclockwise 45 degrees or so. It looks like a pool to me, but I’m not too sure… My brother has a PSP so I’ve seen it in action before, pretty neat. But I don’t think I could justify buying one!

The clue was sent in by “Bill”, once again no last name or initial. I have a feeling this won’t be too tough for some, but that’s OK because our last one was a bit harder. But I might need to drop a region though, to clear up the many, many fat herrings that are possible. I thought about the word clues for a long, long time since there were none sent in (note: if you make up a good word hints, I’m probably more likely to use the clue you sent in because it takes me ages with my slow brain to come up with them). Anyhow, here you go:

“A Story About Greece”

I actually need to go back to sleep right now. Near lunchtime, for gosh sakes. I have not been sleeping very well lately, not sure what it is. I think I might need to take some vitamins or whatever but maybe that’s just the hypochondriac in me talking. See you in a bit!

[Edit: 10:00 am Wed PDT - Sorry I didn’t get to update much yesterday. We are doing pretty well with this one. The word hints, once figured out, usually lead to a quick solution. So I will just say for now: East Coast U.S.]

Clue Name : “PSP Pool”
Submitted by: Bill
Status : Solved (12)
Duration: Tues 9/27/05 - Wed 9/28/05

Solved By: Chorbansi, Ananth R, Judy B, Mike B, Citizen, Shawn D, Bernd, Tim J, Jen S, Aaron B, David H, Chris

Word Hints : “A Story About Greece”
Magnification Needed: 15/18


9/21/05 | 8:50 pm | Solution: Beach Swan

Hey there roogle kids, I’m cleaning up a little earlier today because I’ve got such Dungeon Siege 2 action coming up soon, hehe! Yep, got my PC up and running at least somewhat… so it looks like I’m both a Mac and PC person now due to using the Powerbook for the last 3 or so weeks.

So here is the Beach Swan in all its glory:

Solution to “Beach Swan”

Not as many solutions this time, sort of disappointing in fact given that it was two days long. But anyhow David H was first on the board:

Took a minute or two. I’m a New Yorker, so Fire Island was the first thing I thought of. If it hadn’t been there, I would have been in trouble, though.

I had a feeling being from New York area might give a little advantage. Me, I had never heard of “Fire Island” until this clue!

Judy B mixed music and Scavengeroogle to come up with the answer:

Just a couple of minutes. For some reason, I had a stupid song stuck in my head that had something in it about Fire Island so that was the first place I looked. Good to know those annoying songs that won’t go away are good for something!

Tim J got the pun quite quickly:

Two minutes… I love fire = Isle of fire = Fire Island, NY

as did Mike B:

“I Love Fire” = “Isle of Fire” = “Fire Island”. About 10 minutes.

Almost nil herrings for this one… I guess you either got it straight away or didn’t. Justin also knew about Fire Island from living there:

I lived on Long Island, so my first thought was that this clue would be on Fire Island. It took about a minute or two once I searched the island.

Why do they call Fire Island anyhow? Vic W said:

It took a couple of hours. The “Fire” part of the clue was a little too obvious.

Uh? It was too obvious but it still took a couple hours?

Dan M writes:

Once I took a zoomed-out look at the satellite shot I knew I was in the right neighborhood pretty quickly. 3-4 minutes? Ain’t it grand when they just click??

It is certainly damned grand when it clicks like that, or so I’ve heard from regular ‘rooglers. Regular Rooglers, haha.

Eric W went searching for fire but eventually got fire island:

Just about an hour - got sidetracked reading the news. Once I got away from fire and onto Fire Island, it was easy.

Okee doke. Yep, that’s all she wrote for this one! I’m thinking that with everyone heading back to school and work schedules startin’ up again that not as many Rooglers are stopping by. Which is cool… I’ll just keep putting them up. Oh yeah, and Bounties too… I didn’t get a chance this past weekend so hopefully there will be some more up along with prizes coming soon. See you all later.

Solution to “Beach Swan”

9/20/05 | 12:01 am | Beach Swan

click to search using Google MapsHello Scavengeroogle peeps! Let’s hope there are no more power outages this week in L.A… but something good did come out of that mess. Today’s clue is going to be the first “deliberate” two-day long clue. I noticed that the clue’s staying power didn’t seem to suffer that much from the outages, and in fact quite a few people actually appreciated the extra chance to take a crack at it.

So this clue is what appears to be a swan on a beach, and hence the rather imaginative title I’ve given it “Beach Swan”. I have to laugh like hell at my original-ness. Also at my grammar. =)

The clue was sent in by “Ray”, no last name or initial that I could see. The swan is visible at about 15/18 or so, so it’s a good sized feature. I debated a long time on the word hints and finally decided to use a much, much shorter version that the ones that were sent in. How short? Well, all that you are going to get for the time being is:

“I Love Fire”

Since it’s a 2 day clue, I figure it’s OK if some struggle with it for a bit. Or not. I’m constantly proven wrong on the so-called hard clues. Anyhow, I’ll catch you all later…

[Edit: 9:18 am PDT Tues - Lots of thunderstorms in my area… haven’t had those for awhile. Let’s start with the most general region: United States]

[Edit: 8:40 pm PDT Tues - Not as many sols today, as expected. I’m not sure what other hints to give… think I will sleep on it and try come up with more tomorrow.]

[Edit: 2:12 pm PDT Wed - I think I’ll just leave the clue as is. By the way, I hope that all of you in the Texas coast area are getting away safely from the storms coming in…]

[Edit: 6:26 pm PDT Wed - Man, that was some drama with the plane landing at LAX with the nosewheel turned sideways…]

Clue Name : “Swan beach”
Submitted by: Ray
Status : Solved (8)
Duration: Tues 9/20/05 - Wed 9/21/05

Solved By: David H, Judy B, Tim J, Mike B, Justin, Vic W, Dan M, Eric W

Word Hints : “I Love Fire”
Magnification Needed: 15/18

SOLUTION TO “Beach Swan”

9/13/05 | 9:34 pm | Solution: Alien Antenna

The power outage in L.A. wrecked havoc with our daily scavenger hunt clue. I think it was down for approximately 8 hours or so, and then when the site went up again the mail was still down so I couldn’t tell who had submitted solutions! Ugh. Anyhow, so this is a 1.5 day long daily clue because you need to subtract 8 hours or so from it. Other than the downtime, there weren’t too many hiccups except that the word “sego” was spelled “sega” originally.

Solution to “Alien Antenna”

Aaron B was first on the board:

The clue seemed pretty simple to me. The most trouble I had was in locating where the heck the bugger was.

but anyway, one of Joktan’s sons is Ophir and the Sega Lily is the state flower of Utah. Put them together and you get Ophir, UT! Then there is the searching… It was a lot farther west than I thought it would be

~25 minutes or so

Shawn D roogle-netted a herring when trying to figure out the word hints… he went to the Arabian desert, but at least got some learnin’ in:

Good clue, not too tough. After a brief stint in the Arabian desert, I found a Google reference to Ophir (son of Joktan) and Mormon prophecy. Tried Utah, it’s the same basic background color as the Arabian desert! That’s not fair.

Anyways, a little searching near Salt Lake and viola!

About 10 minutes.

Got a Hebrew lesson, a lesson in Morman prophecy and a Yemen geography lesson.

That’s what makes this so fun.


Jon G noted the mispelling of the word sego (interesting that other people frequently misspell this too which is how a lot of people still found it:

Took me about 30 min. A search of Joktan brought me to a wikipedia article of his 13 sons and through these I thought it was in Yemen, even though there is no high-res there. Finally I somehow found out the Sego (with an o, not an a) Lily is the official flower of Utah. After guessing Utah city names of Joktan’s sons, I came across Ophir, Utah. Not too far west of this town I found the Alien Antenna.

The funny-named Cheese roogler decided to play:

Finally got one!

About 45 minutes - nice

Tim J searched for towns named Ophir. Interestingly, when I went on my trip to Colorado, we went offroad on a 4 wheel drive trail that took us up to about 13,000 feet. Coming down from that crazy trail, we passed through a town called Ophir…

Googled Joktan, learned one of his son’s was Ophir, then searched for various towns around the world named Ophir. About 15 minutes total.

Mike B also found it through Ophir:

A little Googling found a family tree of Joktan listing his children, including Ophir. Then found that sega (sic) lily was the Utah state flower. Headed west from Ophir, UT. 10 Minutes.

Heather G persisted and got the roogle solution, congrats!

I finally got one! Thanks for posting a non-bounty!!! Joktan had a lot of sons, so that took awhile…the hardest part was the sega lily…once I figured out that the plant is actually called the SEGO LILY, I was home free. Took about an hour total.

Mark L had a similar near-herring experience in another country. That’s one reason I decided to drop “U.S.” as a region early on…

That one took me on a wild goose chase! When I saw how many sons Joktan had (10) I just looked around Saudia Arabia….. from the background I thought this could even be in a low res area. The misspelled word got me….. as soon as I put “sego lilies” in, it took me right to Utah….. started looking through the sons names at that point for a city name (Ophir).

Jordan got it soon after the Roogle network came back up online:

This one was prety fun, took me about 15 min. I tried to get on the site this afternoon and it was down, and so I figure I got caught by the blackout.

Bernd roogled elsewhere before getting the solution:

after the USA hint maybe 15 minutes….was searching in Israel and Saudi Arabia before

Judy B notes the difficulties of roogling in and around the work hours. One more reason I’ve considered doing daily clues as 2 day affairs:

Started early, but then my stupid boss made me do some stupid work (hate that) and when I came back the site was down. Started again this morning and got it in a couple of minutes. Of course by then, there were extra clues.

Vic W didn’t need Joktan to solve the clue. He also notes that it may be part of Dugway:

It took me one minute to solve. I don’t understand the “Joktan” reference but “Sego Lilies” cause me to immediately think of Utah. The background looked like desert so I zoomed into the area south of the Great Salt Lake and west of the mountains. There it was. It appears to be some Dugway Proving Ground facility.

Katie N was another 2nd day-er who got the solution quickly:

I’m glad you kept this one up today. I saw it yesterday morning, but I was busy and thought I would have time to solve it in the afternoon. I kept checking back and no scavengeroogle - how sad! But luckily you left the clue up and it only took me a few minutes to find ophir, ut

Luke P was also fast on the draw:

Took about 10 minutes. Looking up Joktan on Wikipedia gave me a list of his children, and looking up Sego Lillies said they are a flower primarily in Utah. I put in the childrens names with the word utah in google till I found Ophir was a town. After that, it was about 5 minutes of searching till I found it. Good clue! Lots of fun.

While hunting for the antenna, Sara D also found a copper mine or two. That thing is enormous…

Good clue! Found the area in less than 2 minutes but then took a while to locate the actual spot… anyone notice the Bingham Canyon copper mine just NE of Ophir? Apparently it is the largest man made excavation on the planet! Very cool… to geo-geeks anyway =)

Oh boy. I am worn out from this clue… not so much from Roogle as you will, but from all this nasty power outage downtime. Whew. Anyhow, I hope to put maybe 1 or 2 more bounties up in the next couple of days or over the weekend. I might get a daily in on Friday or so, but don’t count on that. How’s school going for you college kids? Is it exciting and new? I hope it is…

Solution to “Alien Antenna”

9/12/05 | 12:01 am | Alien Antenna

click to search using Google MapsWelcome to another fun filled (well, sometimes) week at Scavengeroogle. Sorry I completely missed out on a daily clue last week. Although, I did manage to put up some bounties that haven’t been solved yet. I have been mired in this and that and the daily problems of my windoze PC box. Which is finally up and running again! But not before I’d gotten very used to using this Powerbook.

Also, regarding the old unsolved Compass bounty, here is an additional clue: Southeast U.S.. I know many have become disgusted with this one so we’ll try get it solved in the next couple weeks by dropping clues.

As to today’s clue, Jerry R sent in this series of roads(?) that sort of looks like an Alien Antenna. This is actually a rather large clue, though it doesn’t seem like it from the picture. You can see it from as far out as 12/18. Other than the fact that it’s extremely large, it may prove to be difficult. One reason is that there are not a lot of identifying marks on the pic.

The other reason, is that I didn’t feel like coming up with word hints, so I’ve used Jerry’s directly as they are. That wouldn’t be a problem, except that I don’t completely understand how they relate to the clue myself! Anyhow, we’ll see how it goes for you… expect some clue drops or regions as we go if it proves too hard:

“West of where Joktan’s son picks Sego Lilies”

I should be around today, so I’ll be able to update. Thanks for roogling…

[Edit: 9:39 am PDT Mon - I started doing something last night after I setup the clue so I completely forgot I scheduled it for today! Anyhow, Jerry wrote in to say he misspelled something in the word hint which I’ve corrected. But I guess that wasn’t a game breaker for many of you… We’re doing OK for now, so region drop is only going to be: United States]

[Edit: 8:35 pm PDT Mon - Soooo… you may have heard that Los Angeles had a major power outage today. Well, guess where my hosting provider is located? Thusly, I have only now been able to get onto this site. Email is still down. Thus, I am extending this clue until tomorrow sometime. I don’t want to deal with trying to write something up now, plus I won’t be able to tell who has submitted solutions. So, more tomorrow…]

[Edit: 10:13 am PDT Tues - I seem to have gotten my mail back up… I’m not sure if my email was bouncing so I may or may not have gotten all the solutions. Anyhow, thanks for sticking with it even though the site was down. This is kind of interesting to have a 2 day long “daily clue”. More updates later - I don’t expect a huge amount of solutions for this one but that’s ok because of the downtime…]

[Edit: 4:00 pm PDT Tues - We seem to be doing OK so I’ll won’t drop any more hints for now. In addition, some solvers actually appreciated the 2 day long open time for the daily clue… hmm, I might look at making it 2 days instead of a single day. Seems like it’ll give more time to everyone, and we’ll get more solutions and more interaction among the rooglers!]

Clue Name : “Alien Antenna”
Submitted by: Jerry R.
Status : Solved (15)
Duration: Mon 9/12/05 - Tues 9/13/05

Solved By: Aaron B, Shawn D, Jon G, Cheese, Tim J, Mike B, Heather G, Mark L, Jordan, Bernd, Judy B, Vic W, Katie N, Luke P, Sara D

Word Hints : “West of where Joktan’s son picks Sego Lilies”
Magnification Needed: 12/18

SOLUTION TO “Alien Antenna”

9/5/05 | 2:45 pm | Bounty: Spirograph

click to search using Google MapsMy last bounty for the holiday weekend before I’m off to the parent’s for a little much needed barbeque action. I am not sure at all what this actually is, but I believe it’s on top of a building and not accidental. It actually reminds me of the beginning of the old Spirograph game that I’ve talked about before. It looks like an octagonal building with two rotated rectangles on the top.

This image might be a little difficult to find because it is visible only at 17/18 and above unless you have really sharp eyes I’d guess. The continent that it’s on is: Asia.

Jackson, Wyoming PostcardI’m going to reach into my magic bag of old postcards again for the prize for the Spirograph. At stake is a postcard of the city of Jackson, Wyoming. Look at that fanstastic scenery! The back reads: “Southern entrance to Grand Teton National Park, Jackson is supply point for ranchers of the Jackson Hole country. This colorful resort town caters to the vacationists.”

One interesting fact I found on Wikipedia: Jackson contains the world’s largest ball of barbed wire. I didn’t know you could roll barbed wire in a ball. Jackson has around 9000 people living in the town.

I’ve been to Grand Teton Nat’l Park when I was really young, I believe it was on a combination camping trip to Yellowstone National Park. I also used to have some friends at my old workplace who always used to talk about going home to “Jackson Hole“. I’d like to make another visit to the area one of these days.

Ok, so there you go, plenty of bounties for now… I will probably return late this week with a daily clue.

Bounty Name : “Spirograph”
Submitted by: Scavengeroogle Admin
Status : Collected by: Aaron B
Time Elapsed: 2 hours, 33 min
Word Hint : NONE
Continent Hint : Asia
Magnification Needed: 17/18

Reward: Jackson Wyoming Postcard from the 70s

Continue reading “Bounty: Spirograph” …

9/5/05 | 12:10 pm | Katrina Satellite Imagery

I had been meaning to post about Hurricane Katrina this weekend in general, so Mark L’s note was perhaps good timing. He has noted that you can now see updated satellite images of New Orleans from Wednesday, August 31st at 10 am.. But before I talk about that I would just like to give out a link where you can donate to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. I know you’ve already seen it a million times on TV but in case not, go to the Red Cross site:

I was going to try and setup some sort of group donation thing, but I think it’s better that you just go directly to the Red Cross site. I know many of you are in college, or like me are not that well off financially, but if you can afford to donate or you’ve thought about donating in the past, now would probably be a very good time to do it…

Ok, back to what Mark wrote in about. When you are in google maps in the vicinity of the hurricane devastation, you will get an additional button highlighted in red that says “Katrina”:

Clicking on that button while in the area will switch views to very recent satellite imagery of the area, and it shows all the flooding of the areas. They actually tell you what exact day and time the photos are from: Wednesday August 31 at 10am. I’m not sure if they will be changing the imagery every so often, or if it’s a static thing. Also, not sure how temporary this “view” is… I can’t imagine they’ll leave it up permanently.

We’ve all seen the terrible pictures of the flooding on TV, but you can also switch back and forth between the two views to see it on Google Maps. It is really shocking. For instance, here is a screenshot of the before and after view of Tom Gormley Stadium:

This is truly a horrible catastrophe, and if you are from the area or have family or friends in the area, my thoughts go out to you and I hope you are doing OK or at least recovering.

9/5/05 | 11:24 am | Bounty: River Spirit

click to search using Google MapsYou asked for bounties so here’s another one. I am not going to guarantee the solvability of any of these though… you get what you get!

This clue is one that I found a long time ago before bounties existed, but I just couldn’t come up with suitable word hints for a daily clue. So I recently pulled it out of the archives. It is a depiction of what looks like a pleasant-looking, wise face made out of the banks of a river.

I guess that’s an additional hint, that you know to look for a river… well, I couldn’t call the clue River Spirit if I didn’t mention “river”. But anyhow, the face can be seen around 15/18 and as for a continent you are again in North America.

Montpelier, Idaho PostcardThe prize for whoever collects this bounty is an old postcard of Montpelier, Idaho. The postcard shows what looks like the main street of a charming little town in the 70s. My first impression when I picked up the postcard was that it was labeled wrong because I thought it was supposed to be Montpelier, Vermont which is of course the capital of Vermont.

Turns out there is also this small city called Montpelier in the southeastern corner of Idaho. From Wikipedia, I learned that the city has less than 3000 people in it, and it’s the largest community in the Bear Lake Valley which is a farming region north of Bear Lake very close to the border with Utah. Apparently, it flourished early on after being discovered by Oregon Trail travelers in the mid 1800s because it had a terminal on the railroad there until the 1970s. Other than that, there wasn’t much info on the town, but it was apparently important enough to have a postcard made for it! So magic bonus points to anyone who can tell us more about the town and area.

Bounty Name : “River Spirit”
Submitted by: Scavengeroogle Admin
Status : Open
Word Hint : NONE
Continent Hint : North America
Magnification Needed: 15/18

Reward: Montpelier Idaho Postcard from the 70s

9/4/05 | 4:48 pm | Bounty: Crop Circle Square

click to search using Google MapsAh, nice long weekend = me getting to work on more Scavengeroogle. While everyone is out barbequeing, I am posting scavengeroogle clues. Interestingly enough, I am still PC-less. I seem to be getting by other than the fact that nearly all my important files were on the windoze machine that is now collecting dust.

Anyhow: Cluemaster B, or as you may know him as Aaron B had sent me a bunch of clues and some were meant to be bounties. Here is one of them: I am at a loss what to call this, it’s sort of a circle inside a square and since I’ve just seen a Discovery Channel special on Area 51, I think I will call this clue “Crop Circle Square”. It is not enormous like some of our other ones, but still can be seen at about 16/18. I am going to give the continent hint for this one: North America

I am crossing my fingers (many times) that this bounty will last a little longer than our others, but not as long of course as the dastardly Compass bounty that remains unsolved to this day. In any case, today I went to the Pasadena City College Swap meet to look for some prizes. I picked up 8 postcards for a quarter a piece so these are going to be your bounty prizes for now. I would have picked up more but it was just too blazingly hot standing in the sun flipping through them so I had to finish up and pay.

Fairbanks, Alaska PostcardFirst up is this cool postcard from Fairbanks, Alaska that looks like it’s from the 70s with those scalloped edges. The front of the postcard depicts a mile marker that says Mile 1523 End of the Alaska Highway which I guess is in the middle of Fairbanks. There is mileage to other place including: 527 to Point Barrow, 558 miles to Juneau, 529 miles to Nome, and 10,316 miles to the South Pole.

Bounty Name : “Crop Circle Square”
Submitted by: Aaron B
Status : Open
Word Hint : NONE
Continent Hint : North America
Magnification Needed: 16/18

Reward: Fairbanks Alaska Postcard from the 70s