Field of Dreams
Theme Sports is a ubiquitous topic around the world. It has the unique ability to span social, economic and religious boundaries and create a unified spirit of local pride. Local, of course, can be anything from the peewee team in your neighborhood to your nation's Olympic delegation. These communities don't have real boundaries but their extent can be estimated from fan participation and social activity. The "big business" teams certainly do that to optimize their marketing efforts.
This puzzle was drawn with county boundaries where major league baseball is popular. Although Alaska and Hawaii are excluded, there are definitely fans there as well. Since the Toronto Blue Jays (and the former Montreal Expos) have made the major leagues truly international, the most populous counties in Ontario and Quebec are included. These spatial decisions are purely practical. Learning geography from something fun is the real idea. Being able to recognize the coasts and a few internal boundaries is the key to solving this one!
Puzzle Notes The pieces are displayed using each team's primary color. The Clue Window also features a red border and division lettering for American League teams and blue for the National League. Both leagues have 3 divisions with 5 team in each. Clicking or tapping on a team's Division name will flash the pieces for their 4 closest rivals. The team's home field is another important clue. Click or tap on it to see where that field is on the map. If the piece is already solved, the map will automatically zoom in far enough to see the stadium!
There are several other features in this puzzle that provide interesting ways to deliver geospatial information. One is the ability to randomize content as is demonstrated by the sounds and player silhouettes. Although the same effects are used with all the pieces, it is entirely possible to randomly (or sequentially) display different clues for each specific piece. All of these techniques can be used in a custom design for any theme or topic.