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 November, 2005


11/22/05 | 10:27 pm | Solution: Shark Jaws

The combination of the upcoming holiday and my extremely difficult first word hint conspired to make this clue have the least number of solutions as far back as I can remember since I reverted to 1 daily clue per week. The 2nd part of the hint of course is Bridgewater, NJ and it was quite possible to find the Shark Jaws just by figuring out that town.

However, I had decided to add another clue to help things which was supposed to be Six Mile Run - a Marathon divided by 4.3667. But this completely flopped. No one got this part. You lose some and win some I guess.

Solution to “Shark Jaws”

Tim J:

Ten minutes, looking around various “Bridgewaters” till I found Bridgewater, NJ with the perfect color match.

Bernd:

20 minutes…found bridgewater immediately, but was blind then…

Mike M

Took about 3 minutes. I figured out the first part of the clue (6 miles), but didn’t use it. From the color I new it was in NJ and deciphered the Bridgewater part. A little to the north, there it was.

Bakpaulilin:

The second part of the clue helps a lot…water after bridge = bridgewater

There are several cities/town in US. Google for bridgewater, nj and some business phone number start with (area code)595-…. Not sure whether this 595 is the answer for the first part of the clue (marathon distance is 26 miles, divided by 4.3667 and you’ll get 5.95)

Based on that I’m sure I got the right city (after 10 minutes)…but it took me forever to find the building =(

Lisa

This was only my second roogle! I thought about it for ten minutes last night before falling asleep and the funny thing is I was closest to the answer on my first gut instinct. Should’ve listened then. I spent another 30-45 minutes tonight getting “herring”ed by the marathon clue. As soon as I went back to my first guess about bridgewater, I found it pretty quickly. It was like an early Christmas when I found it! Now that you have me hooked, I look forward to the next one.

I tell you what… that joy that you get from finding a tough roogle… that’s gold. And seeing both new and senior rooglers really enjoying the game is what keeps me writing up clues week after week. I’ve been a bit down regarding the site lately.

After our earlier successes with getting written up in Wired magazine and appearing on G4 TV, things have calmed down quite a bit. Site visitors have begun to drop off, and I’ve begun to question whether or not it is worth it. Granted, I never intended any more than a few people to play the game. It was just supposed to be a temporary diversion. The insanity of 3 clues a week due to the increased publicity was pretty insane, which is why I had to drop it to 1 a week.

I have this problem of not being able to write brief posts in general. I just can’t for some reason throw up any old clues left and right. I mean, I think I could change the format to just posting a pic and have people commenting on it if they find it… sort of like the other googlemap sites. But I feel like each clue means a lot, like I have some sort of investment in it. In the short term, Scavengeroogle has done fabulously not only because it was a great idea but because I think a lot of people noticed that I gave a damn about the clues. It’s easier to get emotionally attached to a particular blog when the writing is good and you can see that the person really cares about it. I this know from reading other people’s sites.

But in the long term, it’s very difficult to keep this kind of attention to a site up, especially when your financial situation is not exactly stellar. I guess we will have to see. I am still not 100% sure but it is looking more and more like by the end of this year I may just post clues whenever I have time instead of attempting to do the 1 clue a week thing. Once again, I know this shouldn’t be a big deal since I’m doing this for free, but still I feel bad about that.

I may take a break over a month or so in December to see if I can find some alternate options. In any case, I still do appreciate all the regulars who check into the site once in awhile, and the newcomers who take time out to write nice supportive emails. Ok, I will get off my moping horse right now… I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!

Solution to “Shark Jaws”

11/20/05 | 11:03 am | Shark Jaws

click to search using Google MapsHello there. I decided to launch a clue earlier since it’s a short week for most folks. Plus, I’m going to have my hands full discovering how to cook a turkey. Oh boy, fun. Anyhow, this clue will run Sunday-Tuesday.

I remember seeing the movie “Jaws” when it first came out. I don’t know about you, but for a long time after that I was pretty terrified about any kind of deep water. It didn’t really matter if it was a neighbor’s pool or not! I would imagine Jaws coming up from the deep end of the pool and biting my leg as I tried to get out of the pool.

Roogler Andrew has reminded me of my old fears by sending in this interesting set of buildings shaped like Shark Jaws. It’s either that or some kind of hybrid metal mouth Pac-man. I wouldn’t want to get near those choppers.

This is barely visible at 14/18, but 15/18 seems to be a better bet. It’s interesting, around 15/18 magnification seems to be about the optimum distance for most of our clues lately. I think because they’re often buildings and most buildings aren’t large enough to be seen reliably higher than 15.

We’ve had a few easier word hints recently. I think I made some that are a bit harder, though can’t be sure. I definitely know that there are a few red herrings with both parts of the hints below. Witness the following:

“Marathon divided by 4.3667. Water after the bridge.”

But I have been wrong before about clues being difficult. I always underestimate you Rooglers! I’ll probably drop a general region with this one regardless of solutions. Well, hope you have a nice Thanksgiving with all the fixings!

[Edit: Mon 9:55 a.m PST - Interesting, of the 3 sols so far, no one used the first part of the clue at all…]

[Edit: Mon 8:25 pm PST - Tough hints, as I thought. I guess I will give a region hint: Northeast U.S. I don’t know if the marathon clue makes any sense after reading it through again. Ignore it if you want. ]

Clue Name : “Shark Jaws”
Submitted by: Andrew
Status : Solved (5)
Duration: Sun 11/20/05 - Tue 11/22/05

Solved By: Tim J, Bernd, Mike M, Lisa, Bakpaulilin

Word Hints : “Marathon divided by 4.3667. Water after the bridge.”
Magnification Needed: 15/18

SOLUTION TO “Shark Jaws”

11/17/05 | 11:04 pm | Solution: Crossbones

We started out with quite a few solutions and then slowed down to almost none today. Bernd’s original word hints, by the way were: “Screw you Detroit, we’re no. 1″ which I had originally thought was some sort of Basketball thing (I only know hockey, and yes the Red Wings can suck me). This is what he says about them though:

By the way, my word clue has got nothing to do with sports. I just found out at Google that Camden was the most dangerous city in the U.S. a few years ago, taking the “title” from Detroit … guess i should have added this beforehand :)

which is actually pretty interesting. I had heard that Detroit was dangerous but I didn’t know it was the most dangerous. I always thought that might be my town, L.A.! Anyhow, here’s your solution…

Solution to “Crossbones”

Bryan:

About five minutes.

Mike B:

The clue is the slogan from Campbell’s soup, HQ in Camden, NJ. About 10 minutes, after a detour to Campbell, CA.

Mike H:

I love Google. I had no idea where Cambell Soup company was located, but 2 minutes, I had found the company Web site, mapped it, and backed off to look at street orientations. Finding some streets going the right direction allowed me to zero right in on the target.

BTW: If you’ve never had a brine soaked turkey, consider cooking one. I did the first time I cooked turkey and have done it every since. I love ‘em. HAve a good one.

Oh yeah… I am totally planning on doing the brine soaking thing for my first try. I have done brined roast chickens before with great success, and I know my parents have never done it before so I think they might like it. I taped Alton Brown’s Turkey special so that I can refer to it. I think I might have to go buy a container large enough to brine the turkey though!

Cheese said:

Nice puzzle and clue!

About 30 minutes.

Gave up on NJ after about 10 minutes and not finding. Tried Campbell, CA for awhile but the color was not right. Thought I’d try NJ again - and there it was in all its glory.

Bryant:

The Campbell’s Soup website didn’t make it obvious where their headquarters was, at least not right away. But then there it was: Camden, New Jersey. About 10 minutes.

Tim J:

Went to Campbell’s website, found out their corporate headquarters was in Camden NJ, googlemapped it and saw that the colors matched perfectly, then browsed for five minutes til the pirate flag showed up. Arrgggh, matey.

Richard K

Not too far from the soup company.

Judy B

I’ve been so busy I forgot to see if there was a new clue until this evening. <Note to self - must take vacation soon>. About two minutes. Mmm mmm fun!

Judy you should take a vacation soon. It is not good to put off vacations for so long, believe you me…

Shawn

Good find.

Easy clue, tho. Took about 45 seconds after a quick trip to the Cambell’s soup site. Thanks as alwayys.

Mark L

About 20 seconds once I found out where Campball’s HQ was (Camden NJ)….. ya shudda went with the sports clue.

Man, both you guys are always speedsters! =) I will try get a more difficult one up the next time… And until next time, this is your friendly neighborhood Scavengeroogle Admin signing off. If I don’t get to talk to you until after the Turkey Days, hope you all have a nice one. I sure hope my turkey turns out because if not I might have to resort to buying a cooked turkey somewhere… either that or make some hamburgers!

Solution to “Crossbones”

11/16/05 | 10:32 am | Crossbones

click to search using Google MapsYo ho ho, and a bottle of rum. My favorite ride at Disneyland in California when I was a kid was Pirates of the Caribbean where you’d float on this boat through a bunch of politically incorrect animatronic pirates. One of the things I remember is that before your boat goes down this waterslide into the dark, there’s like this Skull and Crossbones talking at you.

Roogler Bernd seems to have found a pretty good likeness of the crossbones in these buildings. It’s fairly large, but because it blends in sort of with the background I wouldn’t look for it at anything farther up than 15/18 unless you’ve got extremely sharp eyes.

I think the word hints Bernd sent in have something to do w/ sports which is not my forte, so I’ve come up with a new hint that may or may not be too simple. At this point, my brain is a little too fuzzy to care, so here you go:

“Mmm Mmm Good”

And now, it’s back to this cup of coffee which is the only thing keeping me from falling asleep at the keyboard. I’ll let the clue run till Thursday night or so. So what’s everyone’s plans for Turkey Day? I have decided to take on the scary job of cooking the turkey! A passing of the torch, if you will, since my parents have done it for the last 30 something years… I’m not sure if we’ll have a clue next week due to everyone being on holiday but we’ll see!

[Edit: Wed 5:23 pm PST - A wee hint before I head off to eat. This is NOT in California…]

[Edit: Thu 8:29 am PST - We’re doin’ pretty well, I think this clue might have been too easy for some… also, Bernd tells me that his original word hint had nothing to do w/ sports so perhaps I should have used that instead. I’ll give it in the solution.]

Clue Name : “Crossbones”
Submitted by: Bernd
Status : Solved (11)
Duration: Wed 11/16/05 - Thu 11/17/05

Solved By: Bryan, Mike B, Jon G, Mike H, Cheese, Bryant, Tim J, Judy B, Shawn, Mark L, Richard K

Word Hints : “Mmm Mmm Good”
Magnification Needed: 15/18

SOLUTION TO “Crossbones”

11/9/05 | 8:50 pm | Solution: Mercury Space Capsule

We got a good number of answers for this one. More people knew about the Belt Weigh = Belt Way = Capital Belt Way than I had thought. I actually had no idea what that was until I saw it in Google Maps. I think quite a few of you have actually driven on it as well!

Solution to “Mercury Space Capsule”

Jordan:

About five min. I orriginaly googled ‘belt weigh’ to no avail, though i did get to find out about some interesting machinery. On a hunch I googled the phrase ‘belt way’ I was then corrected by google to search for ‘beltway’ and I discovered that there was a section of highway arround DC that is called the beltway. So I started there. I naturaly started at the bottom of the loop (habbit) and moved clockwise untill I stumbled upon the park. Great clue, I’ve been feeling kinda stupid with the last couple, and being that I don’t have as much time as I did in the summer (stupid college don’t they know I need time to roogle?)

Ken S was one who lives in the area:

I got one after a long dry spell. I immediately thought of the DC Beltway, which I drive several times a week. I was suprised to find the shape in a park that I visited a couple years ago. 5 minutes.

Mike B as well, and gives some hint as to what it is:

After living in the DC area for mor than 20 years, I know there is really only one “Beltway”. This is a water park in Fairfax County. Less than 5 minutes.

Mike M lives nearby too:

Living within twenty minutes of DC has its perks. Took about a minute.

Bernd:

5 minutes…

Judy B also says water park:

Got this one is a couple of minutes. Water park maybe?

Jon G puts a name to it:

Only took a few minutes. Immediately thought of the Beltway and Washington, DC. Luckily it was right by the first part of the Beltway that I checked so that I didn’t have to circle around all of DC. Thanks for putting up a clue though, it was fun. I miss the good ol’ days when there was 3 clues per week, but I understand that it took a lot of time on your part. I just wanted to reminisce. Oh yeah, in case anyone is curious, it looks like the space capsule is a wave pool and the green around it is probably some kind of artificial turf, at the Great Waves water park.

Mark L:

Oh man that was too easy…… looks like there is only one “Beltway”….. just did a circular tour of 495 around Washington DC and found it right away…. couple of minutes.

Bakpaulilin:

Hopefully I made it, this is the first time I’m able to solve a clue…thank you so much….^_^ It took me about 15 minutes

Justin:

I googled “Virginia beltway” because I thought I had heard of a beltway in Virginia. I found out about the Capital Beltway that encircles Washington, DC. Sure enough, the clue was right along the Capital Beltway just outside of Alexandria. It took about five minutes.

Tim J got distracted first, exactly what happened to me! There are so many possible roogle clues in the city:

Good clue, it does look exactly like a space capsule. This one took about 10 minutes, but only because there are so many interesting things to see around Washington that I kept getting distracted.

Katie N:

It took me about 2 minutes, and only because I started at the opposite side of the beltway.

Richard K:

Just got on the Belt Way and drove around town.

Dan M:

Literally 4 seconds. By chance I started at 395 and the beltway because Washington
International Teleport, CSPAN, and PBS are customers. See those dishes? Then I just went east. Cool!

Jen S:

About an hour searching around 495

Ok, I gotta jet out early tonight so I’ll see all of you next week!

Solution to “Mercury Space Capsule”

11/7/05 | 10:20 pm | Mercury Space Capsule

click to search using Google MapsHow’s it goin’ Rooglers! Me, I’ve been better. Been dealing with this bruised rib of mine that still feels like it’s broken or something. People ask me, “How’s your ribs?” and I feel like I’m at Tony Roma’s. A-ha ha.

Whew, anyway after last week’s tougher clue, I’m jonesing for an easier one. To get to the point, this clue which looks like a space capsule was sent in by another mysterioso person named “Muddyboots”. It’s sort of funny when people send in submissions under weird names, but it does make it easier keeping track of all of you!

Muddy said that it reminded him/her of the Mercury Space Capsule so that’s the name of this clue. It’s pretty well visible, so I’m thinking this will be easy to spot even though the magnification requried is 15/18.

And now, the moment of truth. Make-or-break time for the clue. I think this one will be a little easier. Maybe even easy-peasy:

“Belt Weigh”

Truthfully, I am out of practice making up word hints. There were some word hints sent in with the clue, but I wouldn’t be the Scavengeroogle Admin if I didn’t stupidly throw them out like I am right now. Region drop may be possible with this one. Huh, what’s that? Newer players may not even remember that we sometimes give out the general area as a 2nd hint after some time has passed. I haven’t given one out in a long time, because I haven’t had to. We shall see I guess…

[Edit: 10:20 pm PST Mon - Oops I hit “publish” instead of “save”. I guess you’ll be getting the clue a little early…]

[Edit: 10:15 am PST Tue - We seem to be doing fine with this one, so no region drop for ya…]

Clue Name : “Mercury Space Capsule”
Submitted by: Muddyboots
Status : Solved (15)
Duration: Tues 11/8/05 - Wed 11/9/05

Solved By: Jordan, Ken S, Mike B, Mike M, Bernd, Judy B, Jon G, Mark L, Bakpaulilin, Justin, Tim J, Katie N, Richard K, Dan M, Jen S

Word Hints : “Belt Weigh”
Magnification Needed: 15/18

SOLUTION TO “Mercury Space Capsule”

11/2/05 | 10:30 pm | Solution: Lisa Simpson

I thought the word hints were deliciously pun-ny for this clue. Ananth R. wrote up a hum-dinger for this one, though it was decidedly difficult. One of the lowest number of solutions for a multi-day daily clue. He had mentioned that because Romania had only a small section of Hi-Res that once they got the country, they’d pretty much find it. So it needed to be a bit difficult.

The gymnastics part wasn’t a clear giveaway, I mean there’s TONS of gymnasts. The pun was cool though: “No Idea” = “Nadia” and “Come and teach” = “Comaneci”.

[Edit: Shawn D got the solution late but also nabbed Crunchy Magic Bonus Points™ by telling us what it is: “Darn, Got in late on this one. I guess I’ll have to settle for the bonus points. This is indeed a fortress, in fact it’s the Arad fortress. There’s a small, but nice, picture and history here.”]

Solution to “Lisa Simpson”

Jen S. who is a gymnast herself said:

Less than 5 minutes total…I was a gymnast until college, so No idea = Nadia, who’s from Romania. Luckily Romania only has a few patches of hi res images. Liked this one!

Bernd solved it but noted something I was worried about, that the feature might not be unique:

the clue led me to eastern europe immediately, but there are lots of cities with such citadels…

Actually, I am not exactly sure what this is, though I think it could be a fort? Speaking of forts and fortifications, Mike B. said:

Great clue! Spent a lot of time looking for Revolutionary War fortifications (”Come and” -> “command”, “gym”->”James”, etc) then gave up for the night. Next morning with a clearer head it was obvious (sort of) “No Idea” = “Nadia”, “Come and teach” -> “Comaneci” + gymnastics. Only a small amount of HiRes images in Romania to look through. About an hour total.

Vic Waggoner came up with the right answer as well:

Nadia Comaneci! Great clue.

Mark L got it pretty quickly. I agree it was pretty obscure:

Clue was VERY obscure…… sounded like Romaina to me (if someone was going to go somewhere and teach gymnastics). Just did a sweep of the high res …. about 10 minutes.

Judy B went to the beach:

I was totally lost and then it hit me like a load of wet sand. That might possibly be one of THE worst puns I’ve ever encountered. Much more humorous now that I solved it though!

That pun was certainly delicious. I really like puns it seems. Especially when I can get other people to make them up instead of me. =)

And Mike H perservered after quite awhile. I don’t know how you all have so much patience; I think I would just about scream after just 10 minutes:

FINALLY! 1 hour (over 2 days) I kept searching Eastern Romaina, near Onesti (with a long detour through Norman Oklahoma that I knew was flawed from the start). Once I backed off and looked for Hi-Res areas of Romania, I zoomed right in on the fort.

Hm… so it’s a fort? I had thought so but wasn’t sure.

Man, I have been getting zilch sleep lately. Two weekends ago, I was playing some friendly pickup hockey when I got checked in the ribs on accident. I got the wind knocked out and thought that was it, but then three days later my ribs really started to hurt. At first I thought I hairline fractured one of them or something, but now I think that I just strained some of the ligaments or something. Nevertheless, it is hell of hard to find a suitable position to sleep!

See you next week…

Solution to “Lisa Simpson”

11/1/05 | 1:39 pm | Lisa Simpson

click to search using Google MapsHappy post-Halloween to you all! We received not ONE trick or treater to our house Monday night. Weird, has the allure of free candy been lost on today’s youth? Well, more candy bars for me.

Anyhow, I’ve wanted to use this clue sent in by Ananth R. for about a month now, but just got around to it now. Ananth did a bang-up job providing multiple angles on the word hints too, so it’s time we brought it out. Ananth says the clue sort of looks like the “invincibility star” from Super Mario Bros.. I thought so too, but when I first saw it I only thought one thing: Lisa Simpson! Someone seems to have made a shrine to our favourite saxophone playing environmentalist do-gooder.

Lisa Simpson can be seen reasonably well at 14/18 magnification. As for word hints, as I said Ananth had more than a few well thought out ones. Here is one of them:

“No idea? Come and teach gymnastics”

Man, I really like this pun, er… one. After last week’s easier clue, I think I will leave it at that for now and see if any solutions come in first. We haven’t had a region drop for a clue in awhile, they haven’t really been necessary. I’m not sure if I’ll be ABLE to give a region drop for this one though without giving it away. I guess we will see!

(By the way, if I haven’t used your clue(s) that you sent in sorry about that. It has something to do with me being the pickiest sonofabitch about these clues. A big thank you to those who send in clues though, whether they are used or not.)

[Edit: 9:55 am PST Wed - This one seems to be a toughie, so I’m going to start off additional hints by saying the clue is International. Also, remember that at Scavengeroogle as a rule we pretty much like to stick with areas that are mapped in Hi-Res…]

Clue Name : “Lisa Simpson”
Submitted by: Ananth R.
Status : Solved (7)
Duration: Tues 11/1/05 - Wed 11/2/05

Solved By: Jen S, Bernd, Mike B, Vic W, Mark L, Judy B, Mike H

Word Hints : “No idea? Come and teach gymnastics”
Magnification Needed: 14/18

SOLUTION TO “Lisa Simpson”