Doodle and I have created a new game that’s very educational for both of us.

With labels turned off in Google Maps, I look away while he zooms in on a random city somewhere in the world. Then I look at the city and tell him what continent it’s on. Sometimes I can tell him what country it’s in, and once I was able to tell him what city it was (St. Louis).

Here are some of my techniques.

This city has some reddish roofs, a developed road system (hence the traffic circles) and the center of the city is very tight, signifying pedestrian based zones. To the west, you see the face of first-world subdivisions.

What do these point to? Europe. Probably central-northern, judging by the shade of the green spaces.

Prague, Czech Republic

Considering the photo below: the only thing keeping me from guessing Africa is the hard-to-see road layout, which points to a developed country. The roads wouldn’t look like that if the city was a slum. So, where do you have very red, desert-like terrain in a developed country? West Australia.

Newman, Australia

This city (below) has a scramble of different roof colors, even blue ones. This means not first world. It is in a green, mountainous area. This could be Brasil, but the large presence of blue roofs give away the location: China.

Meizhou, China

Look at all the subdivisions below! Very systematic. Downtown has what appears to be perfectly square and straight roads. Thus, it’s a developed country that’s not Europe, and has plenty of green. It’s the U.S. or Canada.

Columbus, GA

Next we have a fairly unsystematic, scrambled street layout, probably meaning third-world. It also goes from city block to field instantly.

Going from city block to field instantly is not an African trend. African cities tend to spread over large areas. Other than that, I guess this could be Chinese, but the lack of blue roofs and the presence of red roofs implies South America.

Tulua, Colombia