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Pursued and Google Maps: Stay one step ahead

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Imagine you are a trained undercover agent. While helping a little old lady across the street after saving stranded kittens stuck in a tree, you’re ambushed by evil doers.

You’re taken prisoner, shoved in the trunk of their getaway car, and transported to a secret location.

But because you are a trained undercover agent, you’re able to escape. The problem? You’re not sure where you are. You could be in any city in the world!

And so begins your adventure in the very cool, free, online, geo-based game called Pursued. Using the Street View feature of Google Maps, the makers of Pursued have created a great way for you to trains kids to ask questions, use visual clues, think spatially, become comfortable with geography tools, create mental maps, and solve problems all while having a good time.

In each level, you “wake up” in the middle of a street in an unknown location. Using the zoom and move features of Street View, you must figure out where you are from the clues around you. There might be an obvious landmark, perhaps the street names provide a clue, maybe billboards or the ads on buses might help you figure out the problem.

One of first questions I always ask:

What side of the street are people driving on?

But don’t take too long. Each level comes with a timer based on the level of difficulty. And if you think you’re good, turn on Hardcore mode where you must not only figure out what city you’re in but what street you’re on.

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The cool thing is that you and your kids can create your own levels. And play the levels that others have created.

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Perhaps have your students create their own levels but they must first create a series of clues in case people get stuck. Have different classes create challenges for one another. Try it with battlefields. Maybe set up a series of “driving” directions to teach kids how to navigate using street signs, building numbers, and blocks.

Or maybe go crazy and just let ‘em play the game for fun.

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