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)
10/11/05 | 2:16 pm | Backwards S

click to search using Google MapsI have been slacking when it comes to clues and bounties, sorry. I decided to launch this one now rather than wait until tomorrow, so this’ll be a day and half long clue.

This interesting looking building is shaped just like a “Backwards S”. Or if you’re feeling imaginative it could be a worm or caterpillar. This is the point in the story where I tell you all about my friend in high school who had a rather disturbing experience regarding worms and a certain Mr. Goodbar. Oh, The Horror - I’ll stop right there.

The Backwards S was submitted by Dan M quite awhile back but I decided not to use it now. It’s quite visible at 15/18. Dan had some word hints that I thought were OK but they seemed sort of difficult as you had to make numerous connections. So I’ve modified them. It is interesting to me how people come up with word hints; I have had these truly amazing hints submitted for clues that I haven’t used because no matter how wonderful and convoluted they are, there’s no way that most people would be able to solve it.

It’s sort of weird, when coming up with word hints you really have to think “how MOST people will think” with a big emphasis on the word MOST. We’re shooting for averages here, and having only 1 person solve it is pretty much no good (and actually should be reserved for bounties). On the other hand, making it too easy and having 50 solutions will get boring really quick. It’s darn difficult, and in fact for me it’s definitely the most difficult part of the game. And on the flip side, I often tend to make the clues WORSE by trying to fix them. I just can’t seem to leave well enough alone. At the end of the day, though, I guess it’s just a game…

Well, enough chitchat. The word hints are:

“We Got Trouble with O’Leary”

See you soon…

[Edit: 11:15 pm PDT Tue - Whoops sorry, I just realized I hadn’t updated here all day. I have taken up playing tennis at night, yep the real kind where you physically run around and hit the ball. I decided I needed more exercise. So far, it is rough going especially with me being only 5 foot 4 inches tall. I need to learn how to spin serve, I think, or whatever that is called. Oh, so we are doing OK with this clue for now so I won’t drop a region for now…]

[Edit: 9:30 am PDT Wed - Hello fellows. And fellowettes. Good number of solutions coming in, with most Rooglers getting it in less than 5 minutes. By the way, I’m going to be out on a mini-vacation, if you could call it that. How can I afford this? Well, the parents are footing the bill. Heading up to Mammoth/Yosemite area this Friday for about 4 days. So I may not get a daily clue up next week until Thursday or Friday…]

Clue Name : “Backwards S”
Submitted by: Dan M
Status : Solved (20)
Duration: Tues 10/11/05 - Wed 10/12/05

Solved By: Cheese, Heather G, Richard K, Katie N, Tim J, Jason Y, Paul H, Bernd, Jerry R, Mike B, Mike M, Shawn D, Jon G, Wilmore, Judy B, Mike H, Mark L, Citizen, Bryant, David H

Word Hints : “We Got Trouble with O’Leary”
Magnification Needed: 15/18

SOLUTION TO “Backwards S”

10/5/05 | 12:01 am | Turquoise Turtle

click to search using Google MapsGabba gabba hey. And all of that jazz. You are, of course, looking for this week’s daily clue. Ah yeah, I find it kind of funny that I’ve given them the name “Daily clue” when they are not every day an as of a little while ago take two days instead of one. Oh wells.

But anyhow, here you have a Turquoise Turtle clue for your Roogling pleasure. The mysteriously named Artvandalay was the person who sent in this clue… isn’t that some sort of Seinfeld reference? All I know is my friend who loved Seinfeld used to sign into instant messenger with that handle. The turtle has his head to the southwest and is composed of what looks like a cluster of blue buildings. Hm… I guess Super Magic Crunchy Bonus Points are in effect - what exactly are those buildings? They are available at 15/18, by the way.

Ok, off you go on your scavenger hunt. Oh wait, the word hints. Uh, uhm…

“Lyons and Tigers, Oh Mi”

I have completely stitched up the word hints in the usual evil herringbone way. This is a 2 day clue again, so I’ll check in from time to time… probably drop hints along the way.

Say, anyone know good non-prescription drug remedies for better sleep? Like Kava-Kava and that kinda stuff. I have been having problems getting continuous sleep lately but I don’t want to take anything that’ll put me out of commission the next day. Also, I didn’t want to drink any al-key-hol - though I know that definitely works on me! =)

[Edit: 10:03 am PDT Wed - Good morning everyone (or afternoon for some). Seem to be doing OK with this clue for now. I will just say that there are herrings to be waded through for this clue, but you are probably on the right track if you press on and go through all of them.]

[Edit: 11:00 pm PDT Wed - Hi there, or good evening. There were a good amount of solutions. However, I know quite a few rooglers were tearing their hair out at the multiplicity of herrings so I thusly will attempt to eliminate a few. In lieu of a region hint, here is a negative-region hint: Not in Ohio. I knew that some would try there because of “Oh”. That is correct, the turtle is not in Ohio. Hope that helps, see you tomorrow!]

[Edit: 1:45 pm PDT Thu - Not much to report today. Except this - I just discovered that last week a 90 million dollar California lottery ticket was purchased at a 7-11 that I go to some of the time, very close to my house. *Kicks Self For Not Buying Lottery Ticket This Past Week*]

Clue Name : “Turquoise Turtle”
Submitted by: Artvandalay
Status : Solved (13)
Duration: Wed 10/5/05 - Thurs 10/6/05

Solved By: Mike M, Dan M, Shawn D, Jon G, Ol, Jason Y, Vic W, Mike B, Heather G, Sara D, Mark L, Tim J, Justin

Word Hints : “Lyons and Tigers, Oh Mi”
Magnification Needed: 15/18

SOLUTION TO “Turquoise Turtle”

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

SOLUTION TO “PSP Pool”

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”

9/12/05 | 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