Smarty Pins — Putting Trivia on the MapBy Greenfield/Belser
August 21, 2015
How much of your time do you spend on Google Maps? Between driving from one place to the next, figuring out which bus is the best to take downtown or even just getting walking directions around town, my guess is a good amount. Google Maps is definitely one of the most used apps on my phone, and I'm sure it is for many others as well. It's easy, it's quick and it updates enough that it is always a timely resource.
But, have you ever used it for something else? Maybe...just for fun?
This week we are featuring Smarty Pins: Putting Trivia on the Map as our Site of the Week. A 2015 Webby Award nominee for "Best Website Game," Smarty Pins is a trivia game driven by Google Maps and created by Hook. It was originally commissioned by Google to create more awareness for Google Maps, but has become a fun and educational game for everyone. With varying levels of difficulty, the game asks trivia questions that the user can answer by "pinning" a place on the map. Categories of trivia vary from Featured Topics, to Art & Culture, to History & Current Events.
This game caught my eye not only because of how inventive it is, transforming an everyday function-only site into a recreational site, but because of the many applications it could bring to the professional services space. This kind of interactivity pulls the user in and keeps them interested for much longer than they would be on a simple map. It elongates the life of the map-user transaction. When applied to a case study point-plotter, per se, the user becomes more invested in all of the points on the map because they spend the time learning a little about your representative cases or news items, just because it's fun! Dragging, learning, and most of all, the competitive aspect of a game brings you closer to the user and in turn they become more interested in what you have to say.
A simple game like this could also be used in a Locations/Offices portion of a site, if only just to add a trivia tidbit at the location where you have an office. The user gains something other than just the knowledge that you have an office there. Maybe that was the first place X historical figure signed a treaty for X historical event, or maybe that was where X legal act was passed in 1903. Who knew?
This Site of the Week is not only fun for anyone, but also useful for professional services. Check it out at Smarty Pins: Putting Trivia on the Map today.