The World is Their Playground With Popular Geoguessr Club
Hamilton’s Geoguessr Club, now in its second year, is based on the online game in which players are dropped into a random place on Google Street View and must use clues of their surroundings to determine where in the world they are. Some rounds come down to mere meters between the winning and losing guesses.
Club members meet weekly to hone their gameplay through skirmishes and study sheets for the variations in the roads, architecture, and other cultural differences in countries, as well as by sharing metas, which are strategies that take advantage of features generated by Google Street View’s coverage of different countries. One popular meta gaming strategy utilizes the Google Street View car as it has distinctive features in some countries, such as Ghana’s duct taped roof rack or Kenya’s snorkel.
In addition to weekly meetings, the club also participates in collegiate Geoguessr competitions. Last year, Hamilton entered two teams into an international collegiate Geoguessr tournament hosted by the University of Michigan, duking it out against competitors from Tufts, Harvard, Oxford, and several other institutions. Both teams advanced to the semifinals.
“This was our first time doing competitive Geoguessr, both as a club and as individuals,” Tyler Rodenberger ’25, club president and founder, said. “It was really cool to see top level Geoguessr being played at the college level.”
Rodenberger and one of his friends, Charlie Haberstock ’25, decided to create Geoguessr Club after discovering their shared love for the game. Both developed their passion during the COVD-19 lockdowns because, as Rodenberger said, “We were cooped up for so long and had nothing better to do, so we just looked at maps all day.”
Ryan Almeida, visiting assistant professor of environmental studies and faculty advisor for the club, had a similar experience. He explained, “There was a lot of wanderlust. People were feeling trapped in their homes and looking for stuff to do and ways to experience the world.”
The Hamilton Geoguessr Club is the only collegiate Geoguessr club to provide members with Geoguessr Pro memberships. In addition to the competition and membership perks, the club also fosters community and learning.
“It’s a good excuse to hang out with a ton of people and look at maps,” Rodenberger said. “And the more you play, the more you’re able to differentiate between Thai and Cambodian script or the more you’re able to differentiate between the holey telephone poles in Romania versus the holey poles in Poland versus the holey poles in Hungary. They’re all the same kind of concrete pole, but the holes in them are slightly different.”
Almeida agrees: “I’m an educator, right? Part of what I like doing is seeing the lightbulb click with students. And you see that in Geoguessr; you see folks sort of putting the pieces together or the gears turning in their heads to figure out where they are.”
“Geoguessr Club is great! All the people are really nice and playing the game is super fun,” Grace Conhagen ’26, a new club member, added. She joined the club this year and has been learning many of the metas for the first time.
In the Geoguessr Club, students traverse new landscapes, new cultures, and all their minutiae game to game, the whole world being their playground… except the countries without Geoguessr coverage.
Applause rumbled as the Tolles Pavilion shook. My vision readjusted past the blazing bright lights as I scanned the crowd. Joyful eyes and smiles. Raised arms and cheers. I don’t remember breathing in those moments, but I remember what I felt. I was in a state of pure wonderment as I fixed the microphone back to the stand.