TravelPod, the first ever travel blogging site, today announced the highest and lowest travel IQs on the web as determined by more than 170,000 people who have tested their knowledge of geography with TravelPod's Facebook application, Traveler IQ Challenge (http://apps.facebook.com/travelpod-challenge/). Test scores range from 64 to 142 after a few weeks of play, and the results reveal who's been paying attention in class and in the news. The game's popularity is growing rapidly, and it's at the top of the most recently popular list of travel applications on Facebook. All data presented in this announcement are as of 18:00 ET, July 29, 2007.
The Challenge shows players a map, and then in rapid-fire succession pops names of cities around the world onto the screen. Players then position their cursor and click on their best guess for the location of the city. The 12- round game gets successively more difficult with islands in unmarked areas of the oceans challenging the most ardent geogrophiles. Travel IQs are calculated in the same manner as the generally accepted IQ tests.
"Whether they're bitten by the travel bug, are news junkies or just love maps, it's clear from the results of the Traveler IQ Challenge that a lot of people are passionate, and very competitive, about geography," said Luc Levesque, founder of TravelPod. "Occasionally we'll hear a news report that today's average person (or politician) can't find this or that country on a map. Now there's a place to put that assertion to the test."
"I have a lot of great memories of playing geography games with other avid travelers as we'd wait for buses in far off destinations or pass the time on long train rides through remote regions," Levesque recounted. "The games were wildly addictive and with the new Facebook platform, we thought a Traveler IQ Challenge would be a perfect application that feeds our members' interests."
They don't need directions
Tabulating scores from Facebook users literally around the globe shows that men outscore women on the geography test with average scores of 105.41 compared to 97.99 respectively.
Reviewing the list of top players who are members of college/university groups on Facebook shows that the French colleges seem to spend more time teaching geography than do colleges in other countries (scores are shown for schools with a minimum of ten Facebook players taking the IQ Challenge).
Ecole Normale Superieure Paris, France 117.64 ESSEC Paris, France 115.69 Sciences Po Paris, France 115.47 INSEAD Fontainebleau, France 115.20 Principia Elsah, IL 115.00 Universite de Moncton Moncton, Canada 114.38 HEI-Graduate Institute of International Studies Geneva, Switzerland 113.79 Bethel MN St. Paul, MN 113.56 Princeton Princeton, NJ 113.28 UChicago Chicago, Il 113.05 Compared to the Ivies:
Trying to decide if the Ivy League is worth the extra bucks? Are these the schools that are turning out the diplomats of the future?
Brown 111.89 Columbia 109.79 Cornell 108.80 Dartmouth 109.07 Harvard 112.14 Princeton 113.28 UPenn 110.79 Yale 112.21 And the top high schools Ronald Regan High School San Antonio, TX, US 116.68 Plano East Senior High School Plano, TX, US 109.14 Union High School Tulsa, OK, US 108.40 Eton College High School Berkshire, England, UK 106.65 South Eugene High School Eugene, OR, US 106.61 Mira Costa High Manhattan Beach, CA, US 106.50 Sevenoaks School Sevenoaks, England, UK 106.38 Phillips Academy Andover, MA, US 106.29 Highland Park High School Dallas, TX, US 105.42 Clifton College High School Bristol, England, UK 105.22 It's news to us
Facebookers who are members of work-affiliated groups or networks in the news and publishing business are all over the map in terms of geography knowledge, with National Geographic, not surprisingly, leading the pack:
National Geographic 116.40 CNN 115.67 The Washington Post 114.00 MTV Networks 110.98 Gannett 110.50 Time Magazine 110.00 Conde Nast 109.06 Dow Jones and Company 108.80 The Economist 108.58 Newsweek 107.33 The AP 107.10 CBC 105.48 Oxford University Press 105.14 The Los Angeles Times 104.80 Reuters 104.60 BBC 103.10 The New York Times 101.75 McGraw Hill 94.00 Fox News 93.50 Welcome to the candidates' debate
Many areas of government and associated bureaucracies are represented among Facebook users who took the challenge. Among presidential hopefuls, the Edwards campaign came out less than one point ahead of Hillary's team. Does that provide a clue into foreign policy skills? We'll keep tabs as the campaign continues.
International Monetary Fund 126.00 U.S. Department of Justice 125.61 U.S. Department of Homeland Security 117.80 National Democratic Institute 116.75 Nuclear Regulatory Commission 115.83 Smithsonian Institution 115.60 U.S. Department of State 115.34 UK Parliament 112.79 Government of Saskatchewan 111.60 John Edwards for President 109.50 Hillary for President 109.20 U.S. Congress 107.97 Parliament of Canada 107.40 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) 106.96 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 106.70 U.S. Department of Commerce 106.47 New York City Department of Education 105.93 Obama for America 104.83 Department of Transportation, Kansas 104.00 National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration 102.42 U.S. Postal Service 102.00 U.S. Department of Labor 101.71 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 100.56 Richardson for President 92.00 Where am I?
The Traveler IQ Challenge scores can be found by clicking on the "stats" tab (http://apps.facebook.com/travelpod-challenge/stats) on the application inside Facebook, and are updated constantly as more players take the challenge and raise or lower the relative scores for their schools, companies, locations and gender.
"It's madness -- everyone wants to challenge me!," said Espen Moe, a faculty member at Norwegian University of Science and Technology who currently holds the number one spot on the Challenge with an IQ of 142. "It's great fun, hugely addictive and you can actually learn something while you play. I even got a Facebook message yesterday from a Hungarian model congratulating me on becoming number one! "
TravelPod.com was released in 1997 as the Web's first site to enable its members to create online travelogues (travel blogs), which revolutionized the way people travel and share their adventures with the world. Travelers can post travelogues from previous trips or use TravelPod to host ongoing travelogues that they can update while they travel. TravelPod.com (http://www.travelpod.com/), based in Ottawa, Canada, was acquired by TripAdvisor in December 2006.
CONTACT: Brian Payea, x388,