02/07/2014 05:09 BST | Updated 02/07/2014 05:59 BST

Google 'Smarty Pins': Tips And Tricks For The Best New Time-Waster On The Internet

Google has unveiled a new online geography quiz which is surely set to consume some or all of your working day.

'Smarty Pins' is a simple but ingenious new use of Google Maps, which challenges players with geographical trivia.

To make your answer you simply have to place the famous 'red pin' on the right city.

Topics include Arts and Culture, Science & Geography, Sports & Games, Entertainment, and History & Current Events, and some topical categories (including the world cup).


If you get it right, you move on to the next question (and maybe earn bonus points). Get it wrong, and the distance you are from the right answer is subtracted from your 1000 miles tally. Get down to 0 miles and it's game over.

In some ways it's similar to GeoGuesser, which captured our imagination for 20 minutes last year. But the trivia is more varied and interesting, the system is slicker, and we can see it being a huge hit.

Check it out at the Smarty Pins website.

In the meantime, here are our first few hints:

  • If in doubt, play the averages. Place the pin in the position equidistant from two or three possible answers, thus minimising the potential loss.
  • Don't worry about speed - the bonus miles you'll win aren't worth the potential for making a stupid error.
  • You don't have to be totally exact -- it's generally looking for city or neighbourhoods, not streets or precise locations
  • Don't cheat - it's no fun
  • Tell your friends -- otherwise you can't brag, and what's the point of that?