How to solve WhereOnGoogleEarth contests!

Written by Elisabeth, one of the premier players of the game.

How do I find the location of an image?

First I look at what there is to see. Buildings, vegetation, water, landscape, roads. What could be there? What could have happened there? What could be so exciting about any place in the world? Maybe it fits a topic? Use your investigative instincts.

I compare the colors of the photo by spot-searching for places that might look similar. Zoom in – zoom out. Yes, it’s work!

What kind of trees are growing there? I pay attention to the shape of the landscape, whether it is hilly, flat or mountainous. What is the typical architectural style of the country?

Not to forget: the shadows. If they point more north – that could be in the northern hemisphere. Or more south – then it could be in the southern hemisphere. But you shouldn’t trust it, because sometimes the satellite images play tricks on us!

Then of course I ask our friend Google. Enter keywords in the search bar. Even better plus the country you suspect. I’m looking for newspaper articles, reports or lists, or even pictures. In general, it is important to compare and develop a kind of photographic memory.

There is no trick! Just try to hang around in Google Earth as often as possible and memorize what a place looks like.

Celebrate 800 contests! Be a part of the fun!!

Have you ever wondered how Andrew and Paul pull this off week in and week out?

Well, to celebrate 800 contests complete, we are going to give you a chance to be a small part of the magic.

First, for the rest of the 801-810 series, we are going to be driven by you, our loyal players. Send us your suggestions for locations to include, and we will pick from those candidates each week. We’ve received a number of good locations as you’ve seen for 801 through 804 – but welcome additional entries. Not all locations pass our rigorous tests.

The player who suggests that week’s contest will not only get an automatic 2 points for the week, but, if they are interested, we’ll bring them along for the ride, backstage and behind the curtain.

The amount of involvement is up to that week’s player, but if you are chosen and interested, we’ll give you an admin userid to the site for the week, we’ll show you how we compose the weekly contest, hint and reveal posts, and, if you want, you can be the one to post that week (putting your name forever on the site for that post). Then, after the contest posts, you can watch the guesses come in and help us score the contest for that week. There may even be a unique token of our appreciation in it for you.

So, let’s hear those great ideas for contests. There will be a maximum of 2 entries per person unless we start to run out before 810. Post the locations (lat long coordinates if you have them, something else that will help us find the site if not) as comments to this post. If we can’t use a spot for some reason, we’ll discuss it with you separately and privately take any other suggestions you might have.

Problems submitting entries…

We have become aware of problems that some people are having when they submit entries. Once you hit the post button, you may not see the confirmation showing that you have posted a comment even though we do see the entry coming in.

We are working to find out what is going on and will let you know when we think it is fixed.

In the meantime, if this happens, feel free to e-mail either Andrew ( and/or Paul ( and we’ll happily check to make sure we have your entry.

So far, we have entries from hhgygy, Garfield and Phil Ower. If anyone else has submitted an answer, please contact us so we can get your entry in.