An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

Send your tips to

August 27, 2007

Find This Place in Google Maps

PlaceSpotting is a site that lets you create and solve riddles using Google Maps. Your task is to find a certain location on the map with the help of a satellite image and some hints. The problem is that you can only drag and zoom the map, there's no search box that lets you enter the name of a country or an address. Fortunately, you don't need to find the exact location: the latitude and longitude can be partial matches.

If you have no idea how to solve the riddle, the copyright information from the satellite image is sometimes pretty useful. For example, in the screenshot below one of the companies that provided the imagery is Dütschler, from Switzerland. You can also use the information from the three hints to find the city. The source code of the page also contains some interesting data from Google Maps API, but that's usually called cheating.


  1. You also could just click on the Google logo on the lower left and it will load the location into Google Maps. A screenshot would be a better way to have the riddle presented rather than an embedded map.

  2. I couldn't find anything strange in the code. Why do you call that a cheating?

  3. Well, click on the google link for yourself. There is nothing in the code, its available to all. It takes you to the place in Google Maps. Zoom out and figure it out. Bam, completed.

  4. Interesting, Frank. I didn't know that clicking on the logo takes you to Google Maps. I found the Google Maps URL by looking at the source code in Firefox.

  5. You can pretend you don't know that clicking on the logo sends you to Google Maps. Hopefully, the author will find a better way to display the satellite picture.

  6. Hi, I'm the author of the page Thanks for your suggestions.

    Today I uploaded a new version. It's no longer possible to click on the google logo. (Of course if you really want to cheat you still can, the coordinates are in the clients memory)

    The info in the copyright message is really a problem, but I think it's not allowed to hide this message.

    Other new features
    - language selection box in the "create" tab
    - difficulty selection box in the "create" tab
    - sort and filter by language
    - sort and filter by difficulty
    - Send mail from your own email program (less mails are trapped in spam filters)
    - Image-links to riddles (the html code is automatically created when the riddle is stored)

    The geocoding box to jump directly to a country or an address is on the top of the wishlist...

    Please send me more feedback!

  7. Hi,

    I just uploaded a new version of New features include „riddle-rating“, a new blog, statistics, improved email functions and a brand new design.

    At the moment more than 3000 riddles can be solved and more than 300’000 tried to solve one.

    Have a look at the new features: