Picture the Impossible Uses Bing Maps for Maptitude Game

Picture the Impossible is a community-based game developed jointly by the Lab for Social Computing at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. The game engages members of the community in exploration of the City of Rochester, and encourages both creativity and charitable giving in the community. Players participate in a range of activities, including casual web-based games, games that bring players out to events and locations throughout the city, and games that involve the tangible aspects of the Democrat & Chronicle newspaper itself.

How do you play? You’ll need to locate notable places in Rochester, then click on the map to identify where they are. The closer you are to the actual point, the more points you get. If you don’t know where the point is just hurry up and guess since time places into the game as well. There are 7 weeks worth of maps for you to choose from, so once you get playing you have a few to choose from. In the week one map there are 11 locations in the game. You’ll get 15 seconds to click somewhere on the map to identify where the respective landmark is in Rochester.


Some impressive UI aspects to this game using Bing Maps:

  • The counter expanding as it reaches the end of the countdown
  • The radius drawn around the “answer” to highlight where it’s at
  • The line drawn between where you clicked and where the actual landmark is
  • The animation of the line and radius drawn
  • Points continue to accrue across the top of the page
  • As the point bar approaches the different flags you get achievements.

A fun game if you know anything about Rochester; or, a fun way to learn about different places around Rochester.

Using map- or location-based games is a great way to get people to explore different regions of the world. I can see some of the travel companies adopting games like this to get people to explore different cities around the world in order to get them excited about traveling. They could insert the ability to purchase tickets to a respective world location or event. As a means of making money, they could get the entire game sponsored by a specific brand or have individual points on the map branded as part of the game – either would cover the cost of the game (or potentially turn a profit).

Good stuff from the Rochester Institute of Technology.