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Open Access Publications from the University of California

GeoGuessr's Digital Pilgrimages

  • Author(s): Figlerowicz, Marta
  • et al.

In 2012, the BBC posted an article about a thirty-year-old man who found his childhood home using Google Maps. As a child, Saroo Brierley was separated from his brother and could not find his way back to their village. He was taken into an orphanage and eventually adopted by a couple with whom he moved to Tasmania. Twenty-five years later, he was able to locate his original home by looking at street views of roads and settlements around Calcutta. This rediscovery seemed little short of miraculous, given both the size of the country and the haziness of his memory. What led him back to his village was Google Earth’s photographic precision: it captured a familiar landscape in a way that came close to his lost experience of it...

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