Creating the online geography game Globle is relatively simple. To make it more precise TOU

Creating the online geography game Globle is relatively simple.  To make it more precise

 TOU

Creating the online geography game Globle is relatively simple. To make it more precise

Credit: Pixabay / CC0 Public Domain

The geography quiz game Globle is the result of isolated boredom and its popularity is a happy side effect.

Abe Train, 26, from Toronto, decided to study internet development and quit his corporate job and try something new when he was stuck working from home during the COVID-19 epidemic. Inspired by the widespread popularity of the simple web-based word game Wordle in January, Train created a simulator to train his skills.

The rules of the globe are simple: “Every day, there is a new mystery country. Your goal is to find the mystery country using a very small number of guesses. Every false guess will appear with a color that indicates how close it is to the world. Mystery country.”

If you guess the mysterious country is Germany and you are China, China will appear on the globe in light brown, indicating that the correct answer is far away. France-Intimacy! -Dark appears in red. To succeed, you need to know the names of almost 200 countries in the world, where they are, as well as who their neighbors are.

As with life, learning from the wrong answers is an important part of finding the right ones, and surprisingly for the train, a lot of people decided that his home-cooked training program was the easiest way to brush off their geography. After Reddit and later dragged on Twitter, Globle now plays an average of 1.3 million to 1.4 million players a day, according to Train, who has refused to place ads on the game. “My favorite messages came from the teachers,” Rail said. “Every time, I get something like ‘Thanks from a seventh grade geography class in Virginia.’

But in the process of creating the game to train his web skills, Train learned something else he did not expect: many national borders are in different places for different people, and the process of creating a single world map for global web visitors. Politically very rich, some tech giants gave up the venture long ago.

Sterling Quinn, an associate professor of geography at the University of Central Washington who studies digital maps and the community, says, “Anyone trying to create a world-class map faces this problem. , Made global.

Microsoft’s Windows 95 was originally banned in India because the world map of the operating system portrayed the Kashmir region as controversial rather than Indian-owned. In 2009, Google devised its own logic for navigating conflicts in Google Maps, with one blog post saying, “We work to represent the ‘basic truth’ as ​​accurately and objectively as we can in all cases.” In some cases, “multiple lines of claim (e.g. Syrian and Israeli lines in the Colon Heights), multiple names (e.g. two names separated by a slash: ‘Londonderry / Terry’) or clicking to diversify the map viewing experience. Political notes with short explanations. ”

But Google has also created more than 30 different “local” maps that reflect local preferences and laws. Different users, different maps. Different maps, different facts. Google Maps caused a stir in India in 2010 by portraying place names in Arunachal Pradesh on the border with Tibet as Chinese, as Chinese users may want to see the disputed area. This is a technical error, but rooted in real differences between countries.

“It’s been an interesting time for you to see these companies, at least Google and Microsoft, publishing some statements on their blogs about how they solved the border issue,” Quinn said. “Based on the international courts, a size-fit-everyone may have some choice as to which is the most appropriate boundary. But in the end, customization was the most commercially viable. Make maps or obscure them.”

Globle, being very new and being the product of a guy who decided to create a geography quiz, is recovering from some of the same challenges, apart from the game format. Like any good game developer, he felt the pressure of the train from the fans to get the Globe right and, like his predecessors, to transform his project into better, more accessible versions.

Boundary errors, if you can call them, will be displayed at the beginning. For example, an open source database train borrowed from a hosting service called Kitub was integrated with country data to create its game globe. He only noticed after data was released that data showed that the disputed peninsula in Ukraine, Crimea, belonged to its current occupier, Russia. (“I spoke to my brother, who has spent some time in Russia and knows the region well, and he said, ‘Yes, maybe you should change that,'” Rail said.) Other countries, such as Singapore, were not included. .

The train cut off the most famous database in the public domain called Natural Earth, but user complaints continued to accumulate. The game change record on GitHub is like a diary of someone improving their technical skills between voting in the United Nations.

Version 1.1.0. Feb. 4: “Fixed centralization logic for automated point-of-view change for some countries, including Fiji.” “Automatic zooming with reduced occupation when clicking on a country.” “Transfer Crimea from Russia to Ukraine. Connect Greenland with Denmark.”

Version 1.2.0, Feb. 13: “Recent zoom limit removed. Fixed bug that confuses sequence of guesses during update.” “Added ‘territories’ to the game, which appear to be neutral when their sovereign state is assumed. Reorganized Greenland, French Guiana and Puerto Rico into territories.”

Version 1.4.0, March 21: “Removed URL and changed sharing message to add emojis and hashtags. New territories created for Kaliningrad, Canary Islands, Western Sahara, Martinique and New Caledonia. Cyprus borders adjusted to include northern Cyprus.”

Rail decided that he needed a rational framework for resolving geopolitical disputes, so he sought the guidance created by the quiz platform Sportgill to rationalize the countries of the world quiz. (Rail praises Sportgirl as an inspiration to Global.)

The Sportgill guide strikes a series of compromises between measurements when trying to set standard rules: “Global recognition is not the perfect litmus test: we can not wait for consensus,” says the Sportgill guide. “If we do that, South Korea, North Korea, Israel, Cyprus, Armenia and the People’s Republic of China will all be out of the quiz.”

The guide decided that membership in the United Nations was too limited because, until 2002, it would have excluded the popularly neutral Switzerland. The Sportkill standard therefore recognizes the Vatican City, Kosovo, Taiwan and Palestine as countries with UN member states, partly on the basis of international recognition or clear self-government.

If players feel that the Globle recognizes a country they do not want to recognize or accurately depict the border, they will sometimes complain to the train that they are eager to evaluate their concerns and play as a referee. “I’m changing some international borders, no big deal,” Rail said nervously.

As a developer, it can be fun to solve technical problems. When creating a digital scoreboard or figuring out how to calculate the distance between the polygonal boundaries in a sphere, “I can quickly tell you the correct answer,” Rail said. “Once I know I’ll get a solution for something, it’s a matter of getting to work.”

But when asked which government has sovereignty over the disputed territory, Train said, “Geopolitical issues are not really solvable. Everything is compromised and you are trying to find the best compromise.” “It’s definitely very challenging in the most important ways.”


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