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)

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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”

8/18/05 | 12:01 am | Darth Vader

click to search using Google MapsNow turn your head 90 degrees clockwise and you’ll see what Citizen of Trantor sent in as a clue the other day. Yes, the prime heavy breather from the 70s himself - Darth Vader. Or, as I like to abbreviate him as - DV.

I think good ‘ol DV has donned some funny looking spectacles or something over his helmet. Maybe they’re to increase his Schwartz, haha. He also looks remarkably like an octopus with some missing tentacles.

Whatever he is, you can see him at 14/18 magnification, maybe even higher up if you’ve got eagle eyes. I have as usual, in my nefarious ways, roogle-mangled the good Citizen’s word hints to suit my own dastardly ends. And therefore you shall feel the wrath of the following:

“100 Years of Blue Jays”

That is all. A region may or may not be dropped. And if you should see Princess Leia tell her that she’s scheduled for, erm… detention in cell block SCAV-1. Rooglers, May the Schwartz be with you…

[Edit: 9:44 am PDT - We seem to be doing pretty well with Lord Vader so I’ll hold off on any more hints for now!]

[Edit: 2:35 pm PDT - Darnit. I am already half a “Mac” person but this latest “windows update” fiasco that I just had is pushing me closer and closer to abandoning PCs altogether. The computer just keeps restarting over and over and all I did was a Windows Update. It was completely 100% fine until I did the update. Sheesh. As such, expect many delays over next couple of days as I try and recover the crap off that computer.]

Clue Name : “Darth Vader”
Submitted by: Citizen of Trantor
Status : Solved (18)
Duration: Thursday 8/18/05

Solved By: Markus B, Antti L, Janne K, Jerry R, Mike B, Mark L, Tina, Jon G, Trecherus, Mike K, Steve M, Aaron B, Other Chris R, Tim R, Dan M, Justin, Tim J, Cindy B

Word Hints : “100 Years of Blue Jays”
Magnification Needed: 14/18

SOLUTION TO “Darth Vader”

7/1/05 | 9:00 am | Googly Eyes

click to search using Google MapsAh, fun and joyous Friday. Going into a longer weekend, hope you are all gearing up for fun times and fireworks. The emoticon guy in this photo sure doesn’t look ready for a fourth of july though. He looks surprised, and his mouth is giving us the old “meh” treatment. Someone cheer him up, please. Maybe by finding him in the googlemap and bringing him along to your BBQ!

So anyhow, remember this is our last “scheduled” clue. From now on (until I decide on the mailing list) you’ll have to come check the site to see if a new clue has been put up. I still think it will be better all around. In particular, I’m looking forward to seeing some of you roogling here who otherwise would be at work or busy (or asleep) during the normal clue time.

Anyhow, for word clues… I made this one up myself. Checked it a few times, did a refind. I think it may be of average difficulty. We shall see. Mr. Googly Eyes is visible from quite far out, which should ease scavengeroogling a bit. You can see him at 14/18, barely. OK, here you go:

“MU football, foot only”

What? Yeah… now go out there and make me proud. Don’t do it for me, do it for the Gipper. A Scavengeroogle in the hand is worth two in the bush. And so forth. Look for a region drop if there is difficulty… Happy 4th!

[Edit: 9:45 PDT - My email was down so I thought that when it became available there would be solutions waiting. Instead, not a one! You must all be on vacay by now. In any case, region drop: England]

[Edit: 10:30 PDT - I just discovered my farking email was backed up until now… which is why I didn’t get any solutions. Remember, I have to update by hand.]

Clue Name : “Googly Eyes”
Submitted by: Scavengeroogle Admin
Status : Solved (15)
Duration: Fri 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. PDT

Solved By: Don R, Richard J, Chris K, Justin, Andy K, Jason C, Jon G, Ken S, Adam M, Moose, Mike M,J P, Mike B, Judy B, Golux13

Word Clues : “MU football, foot only”
Magnification Needed: 14/18

SOLUTION TO “Googly Eyes”

6/29/05 | 9:00 am | One Eyed Willy

click to search using Google MapsI dunno how many of you know of the band Grandaddy who are one of my all time favorites. But anyhow, they sing a lot about robots at least on one album called The Sophtware Slump. I don’t think they are one-eyed robots, but anyway this clue is of what looks to me like a one-eyed robot. Named “Willy”, of course, by Mike M. who has submitted quite a few useable and well-thought out clues and word clues. Apparently, he has a pseudo “roogle” game going at his office.

This is highly, highly encouraged… er, but not because it will decrease work productivity! But I mean it’s fun to start up your own office “roogle” because you can probably get to go through more clues than you’ll get here. And the good ones you can send in as submissions!

Hmm…neat. Whenever I see “Roogle” it reminds me of “Roog”, a short story by Philip K Dick. Yes, you DO know him: Minority Report, Blade Runner, Paycheck, Total Recall

Anyhow, tilt your head to the right when looking at the picture to make Willy look better. I especially like how the dark patch in the eye on the right looks like an eyeball. He is visible at 15/18, but you probably want to use 16/18 just to be sure. For word clues, you are going to get Mike’s original word hints which are:

“Mr. Burns heads west on a ferry”

I think this might actually be quite challenging, depending on how you come at the word clues. The region clue will definitely be a help, at least most likely it will. Who knows, these are wild Scavengeroogle times we are living in anyhow. Ok, enough talk… send me those solutions!

[Edit: 10:30 PDT - Some people are getting the solution but I think I will still go ahead with a direct region drop: Alabama!]

Clue Name : “One Eyed Willy”
Submitted by: Mike M.
Status : Solved (7)
Duration: Wed 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. PDT

Solved By: Chris R, Peter R, Beamer, Jon G, Mike Z, Golux13, Adam M

Word Clues : “Mr. Burns heads west on a ferry”
Magnification Needed: 15/18

SOLUTION TO “One Eyed Willy”

6/24/05 | 9:00 am | Footprints in the Sand

click to search using Google MapsHappy, glorious Friday! OK, before you all start in on this clue, please take a look at the post below about starting a mailing list. You can weigh in with your opinion on whether the game would be OK switched to that way…

I got a large submission of decent clues from Mike M. the other day, including this one. Also regarding clue submissions, there haven’t been a lot of international clues yet, I think because in many places even thought there is hi-res satellite photos, there aren’t street level maps so it’s very difficult (for US players anyhow) to tell where you are. I also think it’s VERY difficult to come up with suitable word clues for international areas, unless you happen to be familiar with the area. In any case, there’s no rush to find clues outside of the U.S. I’m thankful that there is that opportunity now though!

Mike’s clue is called, quite appropriately from the picture, “Footprints in the Sand”. No, not that cheesy poem that nuns like to hang on their walls. This is a honest to goodness Paul Bunyan sized set of footprints. There is another clue submitted by one of you that is also a footprint that I have been meaning to use too… I’ll try get to that. I recall that I thought it would be extremely difficult though, which is why I shelved it.

The Footprints are available for viewing a good distance out, maybe 14/18 max. For word clues, you are going to get Mike M.’s suggestion which I thought were quite cool:

“Good Grief”

I have a feeling this won’t be too tough… but we shall see! If it is, look for a region clue.

[Edit: 11:05 PDT - hm… near zilch players today! Or it seems like it. I’m not sure but anyway I will drop: Northern California]

Clue Name : “Footprints in the Sand”
Submitted by: Mike M.
Status : Solved (8)
Duration: Fri 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. PDT

Solved By: Moose, Judy B, Shawn D, Steve M, Jon G, Ryan F, Luke P, Ann M

Word Clues : “Good Grief”
Magnification Needed: 14/18

SOLUTION TO “Footprints in the Sand”

6/20/05 | 9:00 am | Jo And Face

click to search using Google MapsHey you Scavengeroogles! How have you been? Me, I could be better. I dug up this particular clue myself, but sort of owe its origin to Tony A., who had submitted a particular clue before that I sort of used to find this one.

I’m still getting used to the new 18/18 slider that Google has changed to, but am already pretty happy with their new city labeling algo. The river labeling algo needs work though! So anyhow, this particular clue is called “Jo and Face”. The “Jo” is the usual “buildings that look like writing” hack that finds me a lot of clues. However, I didn’t notice until I screengrabbed the pic that there is a “face” in the light brown area of the picture! Kind of cool, you can see the two eyes and the mouth in grey (the mouth is at the bottom of the light brown portion).

As for word clues, this particular one is going to be interesting because it’s a little different than your ordinary location. I’m not going to say more than that because it might give it away. But anyhow, you may find this easy, or you may find it hard… all depends on whether you figure out:

“Onion Triangle”

Hehe. I think I am clever with these word clues when in reality I’m such a sluggggard. If that’s a word. I actually took part of Tony A’s suggestion for word clues and changed them a bit. And we all know what happens when I do that: Herring FEST!

Thusly, you may want to look for a region drop soon. But I am trying to figure out how to drop this region, may be difficult…

[Edit: 10:00 PDT - Whew, so the consensus is this is not too tough… I’m sort of glad about that. Therefore, no region clue drop needed!]

Clue Name : “Jo And Face”
Submitted by: Scavengeroogle Admin
Status : Solved (13)
Duration: Mon 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. PDT

Solved By: Ken S, Brian G, Andy K, Chris R, Jon G, Jeremy R, Adam M, Shawn D, Ryan F, Alex P, Luke P, Trecherus, Judy B

Word Clues : “Onion Triangle”
Magnification Needed: 15/18


5/13/05 | 9:00 am | ET And His Shadow

click to search using Google MapsHow many of you saw the movie E.T. in theatres when it came out? Hmm… I guess I’m showing my age here. All I can say is that the sales of Reese’s Pieces must have skyrocketed after the movie… probably one of the more successful movie product placements in history. Aliens promoting candy instead of trying to take over the earth. What a concept!

Anyhow, Mike Z. has quite the eye for aliens, having sent me this clue that looks suspiciously like our favorite cuddly Extraterrestrial himself moseying along a grassy road. Mike says: “…I’ve got a new one that’s NOT in Texas. I’ve come across a lake that reminds me of a side profile of E.T.: big head, little neck, dumpy body. You sort of have to use your imagination a little.”

I actually had no problem recognizing him. You can even see his shadow on the ground as he moves! Er, moving in the opposite direction that is. Well, what do you expect, he’s a weird and wonky alien with magic powers! One can only wonder if this is the mark of the real ET who has lately come to earth to chastise Drew Barrymore for showing her ta-tas to David Letterman…

Back to business! ET is pretty small, but you can spot him at 13/15. I wouldn’t bet on anything farther out than that.

As for word clues, I was all set to just include Mike’s word clues verbatim for you to tackle. However, I tried attempting a “re-find” on the clue and couldn’t find it. For potential clue submitters: you should ALWAYS try and attempt this. If you are not able to “re-find” your own clue given a general location in satellite mode (say start at a major city), then chances are that it will be too difficult for others! Remember that they won’t even have a general location to start with, let alone a specific one.

So I’m going to add some more to his clue. His first clue was: “Souls of the slain are at the 19th hole”. To that I would like to add “… up the long run”. So your rather long total word clues are:

“Souls of the slain are at the 19th hole, up the long run”

I’m going to try out an idea I got from a suggestion by Jason C the other day. The first clue drop will be a “literal general region” hint, that will have no puns whatsoever in it. It will be something like “West Coast”, “Rocky Mountains”, or even a state (”Texas” comes to mind). Whatever it is, it will NOT be punny and will be straight literal. You can be assured that this clue drop will not have hidden meanings.

I think this will ease some of the frustration about not even knowing what part of the country to look. I know some people actually ENJOY that frustration (… crickets … silence) so I won’t start off with a general region but drop it as the first clue. I will of course drop other clues as time goes on and there are no solutions. However, these other clue drops are NOT guaranteed to be literal. =)

Anyhow, did I mention that you are all kick-ass clue solvers? Well, you are, and thanks for playing along with this insanity of sometimes lame or frustrating clues. Thanks for the feedback as well, that’s how we make the game better…

How are finals? I remember those… just barely. Anyhow, this clue will be open for solutions until 2:00 p.m. PDT today. Oh, P.S. Happy friday the thirteenth!

[Edit: 9:52 PDT - I think many are on the right general track, but nevertheless here is your region clue: Louisville, KY]

[Edit: 10:09 PDT - Hey crazy kids who have finals… go study! We’ll still be here next week! =) ]

[Edit: 10:25 PDT - Man. I just tried doing a second “re-find” and it took me 15 minutes. Ok, a second clue to get you closer: try “Souls of the gloriously slain”]

[Edit: 12:33 PDT - I gotta get some lunch. Hmm, I’m don’t think there’s any other clues that can be dropped to help people along. I’ll be back at 1:30…]

Clue Name : “ET And His Shadow”
Submitted by: Mike Z.
Status : Solved (14)
Duration: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. PDT

Solved By: Dynamic Duo, Tina, Chris R, Mike M, Golux13, Katie N, Mark G, Shawn D, Brian G, Steve M, JoJo, Angie S, Chris P, Ken S

Word Clues : “Souls of the slain are at the 19th hole, up the long run”
Magnification Needed: 13/15

SOLUTION TO “ET And His Shadow”

5/11/05 | 9:00 am | Angry Clown!

click to search using Google MapsGrr… this clown is very angry. Hehe. Er, I don’t know what else to write about this. Clowns actually scare me, ever since I was a kid. Coulrophobia = Fear of clowns. I kid you not. I googled it.

Anyhow, this clue comes to you from Johnny K. who wrote “…looks like a clown…an ANGRY clown. He’s got a frown. The building in the middle sorta looks like a big nose, and the stuff on the left and right looks like crazy clown hair. The lake looks like it could be some more hair, Krusty the Clown style.”

I like using these types of clues because there is little chance of them appearing on other people’s googlemap sites. Unless they happen to have a category for “Buildings that look like clowns”. Like I said, I really could care less about famous landmarks and locations…

The delicious word clues I shall provide you with are:

“Busted Aero Highway”

Tasty. And yet… Johnny’s original word clue was going to be something absolutely crazy like “Do you want to buy clown insurance?” Life insurance, I suppose, for when the clown tries to come and getcha in the middle of the night.

Mr. Clown is visible at 11/15. Usual time trial until 2:00 p.m. PDT today. I may need to skip tomorrow (Thurs) but will definitely have something up on Friday to look at. Keep an eye on the clue launch at top of page. Now quit clowning around and get to work. Ah, you saw that coming…

Clue Name : “Angry Clown!”
Submitted by: Johnny K.
Status : Solved (21)
Duration: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. PDT

Solved By: Chris R, Tim R, Golux13, Mike M, Ken S, Robert M, Andy K, Mark G, Scotty B, Jason C, Mike Z, Katie N, Tony A, Tina, JoJo A, Mark, Shawn D, Josh C, Chris R, Daniel R, Michael J

Word Clues : “Busted Aero Highway”
Magnification Needed: 11/15

SOLUTION TO “Angry Clown!”