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!

Try these examples...

A Spatial Kind of Magic

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!

How it Works

The PuzzleMap™ design is both simple and elegant.  It runs in any modern browser and can render a geographic puzzle over any online web map.  The entire puzzle, pieces and data, are recieved in a single file.  Once the app is loaded, the browser performs all the work without relying on constant calls to the server.  The examples above use freely available tile map backgrounds.  OpenLayers handles the geography and graphic manipulation.  SpherAware has developed the additional PHP, SQL, GeoJSON and JavaScript logic required to to make it all work together.

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 sales@spheraware.com to deliver a powerful message with PuzzleMap™.