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02 February 2013

Mercator Puzzle

In this morning's Geography Education, I found an intriguing online puzzle, Mercator Puzzle! Like many geography puzzles online, in this one the player uses mouse (or finger) to pick up the red outline of a country, and move it around the map till it fits into its space.  But this puzzle is a little special - as the country is moved North or South, it enlarges or shrinks, as it would in a Mercator Projection map.  Tricky!

You start with this
Screen shot of  Mercator Puzzle!

and should end with this
Screen shot of  Mercator Puzzle!
after a good deal of zooming in and out, navigating around the world, and experimenting with the enlarge and shrink possibilities.  This game doesn't just test your knowledge of country outlines - it helps you understand the Mercator Projection in a hands-on fashion.  It will probably hone your detective skills, too: Is that straight line boarder a man made line?  What continent(s) did that happen to in history?  Is that wiggly line a river, or a coast?  Is this country really big, or is it a tiny island?

Good luck, and have fun!

(Click on the map screenshots to see them full size)

Other more traditional online geography games:

For the iPad:
Your World

PadGadget: Top paid apps to teach kids world geography

For Android tablets: