Digital Geography

1. April 2014

Google maps April fools

Every year we face this strange behavior of people to do some pranks on first of April. So Google pranks on this particular day of the year are not new to us. In fact, last year the treasure map, the year before the well done 8bit map. So what is this years idea?
Ones upon a time there were pupil sitting around playing cards, special cards. It was the time before the 21st century, what’s-app, YouTube, smartphones and Google. Either you were playing Skat (which seems to be still common for Germany) or games like Magic or “The Dark Eye”. And then there was and is Pokémon. Google combines this with ideas from augmented reality and their actual mind blowing game Ingress: Use an app, visit landmarks on the map and find all of the 150 Pokémon…

Let’s see some impressions and check it out on your smartphone running newest google maps app:

the splash screen of this years Google maps April fool

Google’s headquarter is surrounded by little friends

Catched Pokémons in my Google maps

Detail vie on one Pokémon

Background: The list of hoaxes and fools in Google services is quite long. It all started with the MentalPlex hoax and covered functions like Google Romance or the famous tape mode in Youtube. But also new products were released on April 1st like the 3D mode for Google Street View or the the famous Gmail service which was announced on 1st of April 2004