Where On Google Earth?

The Online Geography Game

Contest #554: El Helicoide, Caracas, Venezuela

El Helicoide is a building in Caracas, Venezuela. It has the shape of a three-sided pyramid and is built on a hill. It serves as a facility and prison belonging to the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN).

It did not start out as a prison. Designed by the architects Pedro Neuberger, Dirk Bornhorst and Jorge Romero Gutiérrez, the idea included a commercial center and exhibition of industries, a 5-star hotel, a park, a club of owners and on the seventh level a show palace. The building would include a 4 km long ramp spiralling around the hill, allowing vehicles to enter the building and park inside of it.

Topped by a dome designed by Buckminster Fuller:

Under construction:

For more info: http://www.amusingplanet.com/2017/06/el-helicoide-shopping-mall-that-became.html?m=1

Found for 2 points:

  • Walter_V_R
  • Eloy Cano
  • rob de wolff
  • Glenmorren
  • Garfield
  • hhgygy
  • Phil Ower
  • Sandworm

And after the hint for 1:

  • Ashwini Agrawal
  • gscrp
  • Paul Voestermans
  • BC11

We are still having issues with the commenting feature for the site. It appears that the notification going back to the commenter is not working. If you entered a comment, but do not see your name in the list, let Andrew (andrew64giles@gmail.com) or Paul (pfranson@gmail.com) know so we can investigate further.

June 8th, 2018 Posted by | Reveal | no comments

Contest #553: James Pond, Somerville, Maine, USA

Nestled on the south end of Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, this small lake is, well, not famous at all. Probably the most common use of the knowledge of the existence of it is a pun.

The name is Pond … James Pond. It’s really too bad that the zip code isn’t something like “00700” or “00007” or something, but no…

Now, before you break out the torches and pitchforks and come after your humble game masters, keep in mind that Andrew and I (and, for a while, Charlie) have been keeping you going since Contest #371 in November of 2014. Sometimes it’s hard to find really good stuff (if you’d like to see things from this side of the game, come join us – and see the challenges we face setting challenges for you!) While this contest has been running, we found quite a few and will be queuing them up. The rest of the series should have you happily bouncing around between easier and slightly less difficult/stupid ones like this one was.

And, in the interest of expanding the site, we have reinstated the ever-popular, ever-requested, and ever-hard-to-keep-up KML list of all sites (up to #550) which we will be updating at the end of each series. You’ll find it on the left side menu at the bottom (here’s a quick link to the file).

So, back to the pond. There’s just not a lot of info about it. Seems to be a good place to catch some bass. No idea who it was named after. Mr Google is not our friend here – especially since there are a series of video games called “James Pond” about a fishy spy.

Those who found the site and are still scratching their head about what we could have possibly been thinking when we selected this freaking site included:

  • hhgygy
  • Garfield
  • Phil Ower

And those who somehow freakishly got enough about the joke from that hint included:

  • Walter_V_R

As a side note, we wanted to give you an update on the problem with seeing a confirmation of your submission. We have identified that it is a fallout of 1) the fact that we have an older WordPress theme that isn’t being updated anymore, and 2) a recent WordPress update to enforce GDPR provisions. We are looking at options, and you might see the look and feel of the site change a bit in order to fix it, but fix it we will! If anyone out there has any experience programming WordPress themes and some time on their hands, we’d love the help!!

June 1st, 2018 Posted by | Reveal | no comments

Contest #552: the site of the Chicago Spire, Chicago, Illinois, US

The round hole in this week’s contest image is the site of the not-built Chicago Spire, which was intended to be one of the tallest residential buildings in the world. However, due to financial issues, it was shelved and all that is left is s hole.

The hint referred to the rotation of 2.4 degrees of each of the 150 floors, giving a total rotation of 360 degrees from bottom to top.

In recent days, plans have been announced for the construction of two tall towers in this location.

Click here to read Chicago Tribune article from May 15, 2018

The proposed tower:

All there is now:

Found for 2 points, despite the fact that it’s just a hole in the ground:

  • hhgygy
  • Garfield
  • Ben Bayer
  • Phil Ower
  • Walter_V_R
  • Eloy Cano
  • Sandworm
  • rob de wolff
  • Glenmorren

After the hint:

May 25th, 2018 Posted by | Reveal | no comments

Contest #551 – Royal Kasubi Tombs, Kampala, Uganda

Buganda, the region of Uganda that includes Kampala, was until 1962, a separate kingdom. The last 4 kings of Buganda are buried here.

Until 2010, it looked like this:

Kampala Kasubi Tombs.jpg

During the night of May 16, 2010, the structure, which consisted of wooden poles, reed wattle and daub, thatch and palm fronds, was destroyed by a suspicious fire.

The Ugandan government, various NGOs, and private donations are working to rebuild the tombs.

Those who found the site before the hint included:

  • hhgygy
  • Walter_V_R
  • Garfield
  • Phil Ower

And after the hint:

  • gscrp
  • Rob de Wolff
  • Eloy Cano
  • Sandworm
  • Jeather

May 18th, 2018 Posted by | Reveal | no comments

Contest #550: Sturgeon Point Villas, St. Albert, Alberta

This week was a visit to close to my home. I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada but was out for a run in St. Albert. We passed this strangely shaped apartment building that was even more strange from aloft and I thought it would make a good and difficult contest.

The snake-like building is the Sturgeon Point Villa apartment building, alongside the Sturgeon River.

Finding this location without the hint:

  • Lighthouse
  • Garfield
  • Phil Ower

And with the hint:

  • Walter_V_R
  • hhgygy

Congratulations to Garfield and Lighthouse, our series winners with perfect 20-for-20 scores for contests 541-550!!

May 11th, 2018 Posted by | Reveal | no comments

Contest #549: Tasmazia and the Village of Lower Crockpot, Australia

This amusement complex in Promised Land, Tasmania dates back to 1987. It has been, at times, the largest agricultural maze in the world, with mazes inside other mazes.

All of this is topped off by the Village of Lower Crockpot — a 1/5th scale model village.

Those who wandered through and found their way here included:

  • hhgygy
  • Phil Ower
  • Eloy Cano
  • Garfield
  • Walter_V_R
  • Gillian B
  • Lighthouse
  • Chris Nason
  • Rob de Wolff
  • Glenmorren
  • Sandworm

None after the hint.

May 4th, 2018 Posted by | Reveal | no comments

Contest #548: Slauerhaffbrug, Leeuwarden, Netherlands

This unique “Flying Drawbridge” has several advantages over traditional bascule bridge designs. It allows for a more rapid open and closure, it allows for variable opening (open it less for shorter boats), and it uses less energy than most other drawbridges of a similar size.

Those who got across without waiting included:

  • Glenmorren
  • hhgygy
  • Phil Ower
  • Garfield
  • Walter_V_R
  • Gillian B
  • Chris Nason
  • Lighthouse
  • gscrp
  • Eloy Cano
  • Sandworm
  • Jeather
  • BC11
  • David Kozina
  • mehmet durmus

And after the bridge came back down:

  • Ashwini Agrawal
  • Luís Filipe Miguel
  • Rob de Wolff
  • Jesus Rodriguez

April 27th, 2018 Posted by | Reveal | no comments

Contest #547: The Big House/Landshipping, Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK

This location was given to me by my wife who saw the house featured on BBC’s Restoration Home.



The original house was built in 1750, and has seen many owners and much work. It was featured on the BBC program while undergoing a huge project of restoration. The house was owned by the owner of the Landshipping Coal Company, and a major disaster occurred in February 1844 when the coal mine flooded trapping 58 miners. 40 drowned as a result.



Found before the BBC jumped in to help out:

  • Garfield
  • Lighthouse
  • Walter_V_R
  • Phil Ower

After the hint:

  • Gillian B
  • Sandworm
  • gscrp
  • Jeather
  • hhgygy
  • Chris Nason
  • Eloy Cano

April 20th, 2018 Posted by | Reveal | no comments

Contest #546: Peace Park and Al Salam Mosque in Port Said, Egypt

Just down the road from the Suez Canal, a shortcut around the continent of Africa on the way from Europe to Asia, this location in Port Said, Egypt jumped out as a good contest image – but despite it being quite distinctive, I’ve not been able to find any information about the park with two distinctive anchors in it.

At the end of the road is the Al Salam Mosque, which is pictured below.

If anyone knows more about this park, please let us know.

No shortcut needed:

  • Garfield
  • Phil Ower
  • Lighthouse
  • Eloy Cano

Took the shortcut to the location

  • Walter_V_R
  • hhgygy
  • Phil
  • donaaronio
  • Jeather

April 13th, 2018 Posted by | Reveal | 2 comments

Contest #545: Zoar Historic Village, Ohio, USA

In the early 19th century, a group of Germans who didn’t want to practice the state-run Lutheran religion left Germany and traveled to a small region in the US frontier. There, they created a community with utopian and communistic ideals. All of the property was communally owned, and work was assigned based on the needs of the community. They named the village after the town where Lot relocated after Sodom’s destruction, Zoar.

At the end of that century, with the capitalist morals of the day folding in on them, they abandoned that lifestyle.

Today, Zoar Village is a quaint place for tourists to come see restored German-style homes and the town garden and greenhouse.


This photo of Zoar Village State Memorial is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Those who traveled back via the Erie canal to this place included:

  • Garfield
  • Walter_V_R
  • Eloy Cano
  • Lighthouse

And after the hint:

  • Jesus Rodriguez

April 6th, 2018 Posted by | Reveal | no comments