PuzzleMap turns a web map into a jigsaw puzzle! Geographic areas are randomly scattered across the screen and must be rotated and moved into their correct position. Each piece is identified by a clue window that can include informative facts, images, sounds, animations and hyperlinks to anywhere on the web. Solving a PuzzleMap is the fun way to learn geography!
The 47 prefectures of Japan are the equivalent of states and provinces in other countries. Each has its own elected legislature and governor, a distinctive flag and a rich cultural history. Each piece in this challenging puzzle includes at least one point clue that should help you find where it belongs. Once solved, these same clues provide a brief description of the location and a link to more information about it.
This is the classic geographic puzzle enhanced by PuzzleMap's unique way of presenting information. The clues for each state include its flag and an image of its commemorative quarter from the U.S. Mint. There are some useful facts, too, all of which will help you learn where that state fits into the big picture.
Any geographic area can become a PuzzleMap. This one explores the 32 traditional counties of Ireland. To make it fun, each piece is associated with a local brewery and illustrated with a bottle of their finest craft beer. It's a challenging puzzle, though, so think responsibly!
UPDATE: Five new Representatives were elected in Florida in 2018 and Democrats won two seats previously held by Republicans. According to the Cook Partisan Voting Index, both districts (the 26th and 27th) were already predominantly Democratic. With 14 Republican and 13 Democratic Representatives in the 116th Congress, Florida's delegation now more closely resembles the slightly Republican voter preference statewide. District boundaries remain unchanged, however, and this puzzle clearly shows how convoluted they are!
There are 55 counties in West Virginia and 37 of them have lost population since 1950. Solving this puzzle reveals the pattern of decline and uses color as a clue. Counties that are more blue have suffered worse, those that are more gold are doing better. Understanding the landscape will help put it together.
You may already know that the Aegean and Adriatic Seas are parts of the Mediterranean Sea, but do you know where? How about the Alboran, the Tyrrhenian or the Sea of Marmara? These places are as important now as they were in ancient times but most people don't even know their names. With PuzzleMap, you can learn the Mediterranean in depth.
There are great baseball fans everywhere, so don't take this puzzle too seriously! It is loosely based on several popular "fandom" maps that were generated by plotting the social media presence of MLB teams (example). This PuzzleMap introduces sounds, point clues and several other interactive features. Give it a try and see if you can hit a home run!
The world makes a bit more sense when we know where things are. Any news of conflict, cooperation, disaster or discovery becomes more meaningful when we can fit the pieces together in our mind. The ability to look things up only goes so far -- understanding the geography tells us what to look up.
Lectures, books, pictures and documentaries are all a wonderful way to expand our knowledge, but most of us learn best from hands-on involvement. Manipulating things ourselves stimulates the spatial understanding and retention skills our ancestors relied on to survive. It only makes sense. This is how we will always learn to ride a bicycle, to cook, to solve equations or to teach others what we know by doing it.
Surprisingly, the whole idea of jigsaw puzzles was invented as a way to teach geography. John Spilsbury (1739-1769), a British cartographer and engraver, produced the very first one in 1766. That was an age of great exploration and discovery and his invention was immediately popular with people of all ages. Jigsaw puzzles still attract attention, stimulate interest and provide a rich learning experience. They can still teach geography, too. That's important because the world needs well-informed inhabitants now more than ever. Exploration and discovery have just begun!
You can easily embed a PuzzleMap into any web page with just a few lines of code. In fact, here is the code for a live mystery puzzle that you can use right now to test your site. Just copy the following HTML and paste it somewhere inside the <body> element:
style="background: #ffffff url(https://www.spheraware.com/images/pm-load.gif) center center no-repeat;"
Simply replace "MysteryMap" with your own valid API key to provide an engaging experience for your online visitors. You should also add this tag to the <head> section of your page to ensure that the PuzzleMap controls and information windows are sized correctly when the puzzle is NOT in full screen mode:
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0, minimum-scale=1.0" />
SpherAware is now seeking commissions to produce PuzzleMaps for use in education, environmental awareness, community promotion, tourism and advertising. We can produce a custom puzzle for any situation in which learning where is important, useful or just plain fun. You may provide as much or as little content and direction as you wish. SpherAware is committed to quality products and will work closely with you to develop the perfect design.
New project costs depend entirely on the geography, clues and visual elements involved. We also have a growing collection of existing puzzles which you can license and use for a modest hosting fee. Whether you keep it simple or want a complete series of related puzzles, your investment is always protected by restricted access. This means your puzzles will only work for your users on your web site.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to deliver a powerful message with PuzzleMap.