If you’re looking for something new to do that will get you outdoors, use your smartphone and get involved in some great activities, you’ve probably considered playing some sort of GPS game.
Since there are so many fun outdoor games to choose from, many of which have very similar names, it can get a little confusing. So, we’ve made a list of some of the best GPS games for you to try out. It’s time to get stuck into some geohashing, geocaching, geodashing and a number of other games that have more than two letters different in their names.
Tourality is a smartphone GPS game which has you running all over your area. You choose exactly which sort of game you’re playing in advance, then Tourality does the rest. The application will lead you to the each location in turn, so all you have to do is run!
2. Geocaching (& Travel Bugs)
Geocaches are hidden packages which are mapped for people to find. Inside the packages are useful bits and pieces people have left behind, often with a book you can sign to say you’ve been there. Usually you are free to take something from the cache and replace it with something new for someone else. Head to a major geocaching site or get a geocaching application for your smartphone to find out where your nearest caches are.
Travel bugs and geocoins are objects with barcodes and/or serial numbers attached, usually with some sort of instructions as to where you want them to go. You leave them in a geocache and when someone finds them they read your instructions and take them to the next logical cache. The bugs are tracked via sites like geocaching.com so you can map the journey your bugs take.
Geohashing is an XKCD invention, thanks to a random comic that triggered the real life game. The nature of the geohash is such that for each day there is a new hash for every graticule (that is, the area inside four confluences). There’s a wiki of people geohashing worldwide, plus plenty of geohashing apps for smartphones and the web which you can use to get the co-ordinates for the day’s geohash adventure.
4. GPS Mission
Pick a GPS mission and get out there! You’ll be sent on a scavenger hunt adventure to reach destinations and answer questions. Users can create their own missions for the site, involving locations of local buildings and historical sites.
Geodashing is a game where a number of random locations are chosen for each game, then the winner is the person or team who visits the most locations before the deadline. As you might imagine, online teamwork is encouraged as the locations are worldwide. Head to the geodashing site to start playing.
6. Make Your Own Treasure Hunt
Using Locomatrix’s Treasure Hunt game, you can design a treasure hunt using photos. The application will use your GSP to determine how close you are and tell you if you’re getting closer to it or not. This is a good one for parents to prepare for a family outing. If you’re lucky someone may have already created a treasure hunt for your area. Locomatrix also have other games designed to use GPS to bring computer games back outside, so check them out too.
Waymarking is a way to share the co-ordinates and details of interesting locations in order to build a community map of cool places. From this, you can take part in scavenger hunts using your smartphone and the waymarks near you.
8. Repurpose Outdoor Games With A GEO Twist
Try playing capture the castle, where the “flag” is a GPS co-ordinate which you then have to reach in order to win. See more ideas similar to this here.
9. Confluence Project
Confluences are the points where longitude and latitude lines meet, so naturally there is a website dedicated to seeing what each and every confluence looks like. Head to your nearest confluence using your smartphone’s GPS to guide you, take a photo and stick it on confluence.org to take part.
10. Make Your Own Geocaching Game
Either use the cache to point the way to the next co-ordinates or use a stamp or sticker system within caches to fill out a passport of locations which have been found.
Even More GPS Games
If you like GPS games, here’s some more things you’ll love:
- GPS Games
- 5 Cool Android Apps with GPS Activities For Kids
- The 9 Best iPhone GPS Apps
- Export & Share Your GPS Adventures in 3D With Breadcrumbs
- Using An All-In-One PDA & GPS For Geocaching [Android]
Now, what we really need is smartphone applications which show you all the geocaches, local waymarks, today’s geohash location, etc. all in one applications. Any takers to write one?
What are your favourite geo-games? How do they work?