Google’s Smarty Pins Lets You Test Your Geography Knowledge

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Here is a random little thing from Google: a Maps-based quiz game. The company today quietly launched Smarty Pins, which allows you to test your geography knowledge through questions in six categories — arts and culture, science and geography, sports, etc.

And it’s actually kind of fun. You get hints like “the wienerschnitzel and the wiener sausage are both named for this city, the capital of Austria” and then you have to drop a marker as close to the location of the answer as possible. Sometimes that’s a country, a city or a specific landmark. Google tells me that in celebration of the World Cup, the team also added a bit of soccerfootball-related trivia in the “Featured” category, too.

Players start with 1,000 points and lose points for every mile off the mark their answers are. If they answer fast, they can also score some bonus points, and once they run out of points, the game is over.

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As far as I can see, Google isn’t doing anything all that special with this site. It looks like Smarty Pins uses a few web components and the Maps API, but otherwise, it seems to be mostly based on pretty straightforward HTML5 techniques. The design is heavy on animations and shadows, but it isn’t quite Material Design.

If you want to give it a try, you can now test your own knowledge here.