Addicted to novelty since 2001

Place the States

Via Metafilter, I discovered this little educational Flash game where you have to drop US states onto a blank map of the country. The states accumulate as you drop them, which makes the second half of the game far too easy. Still, my American geography is appalling. I got a score of 70%, with an average error of 163 miles.

Did we have to memorize all the states in school here in Canada? I distinctly remember having to memorize all the countries of Africa and Asia, but I’m not sure about the states.

8 Responses to “Place the States”

  1. Andrea

    I got 78%, with an average error of 87 miles. I had to memorize all the states and their capitals in Grade 7, but I believe that was just my quirky teacher. He insisted we’d never go anywhere in life if we didn’t know US geography.

  2. sxKitten

    I got 80%, with an average error of 74 miles, but I don’t think it’s due to any knowledge of geography. I do a lot of puzzles with the kids, so I was looking for borders that fit together. Aside from the West Coast, I’d have a heck of a time finding my way around the States without a good map.

  3. Ian

    94%, with an average error of 4 miles. Darn those middle-of-nowhere states like Nebraska and Oklahoma. I’ve got a bit of an advantage: one side of myt family is American, and I’ve travelled enough in the ‘states to know the geography reasonably well.

  4. Travis

    105% with an avg. error of 4 ft.

    OK, not really, but I feel bad that I broke the trend of doing better in each comment. Really, I did 80% with 57 miles avg.

    Did it stike anyone else how ODD some states are shaped? Maryland? Minnesota? New York? Oklahoma? I mean, following natural boundries is one thing, but…

  5. Wayne

    96% with an average error of 3 miles (Darn you Wyoming!) — but only because I did the 3rd grade geography test numerous times several months ago! It’s another fun one — but you have to be quick!

  6. Chris

    ~80%, with about 90 miles average error. I’d like to see how Americans did at placing Canadian provinces, though they’d have a much shorter test to complete.

    I don’t think this test proves too much though. Knowing the location of every state in a foreign country is about as important to geography as memorizing sine/cosine tables is to math. People tend to put too much emphasis on it – I have a minor in math, and I’m sorta sick of people saying “You’re good at math? What’s 123 times 975?”

    In an unrelated note, there are some typos in the “about the author” box of your column in this month’s “Yaletown Views.” Here is the word for word copy:

    “Darren Barefoot. A communications professional who writes everything from play to software manuals, Darren is a partner in Capulet Communications ( and maintains his web site at

    Note the subject-verb agreement with “play” and the mispelled website. If you’re trying to drive up traffic, you may want your website spelled correctly ;)

  7. Augie De Blieck Jr.

    96% with 4 mile error range. Of course, I live in NJ, so I suppose it’s easier for me. Those two states were hardly errors. It was early in the game and they were landlocked. I knew where they went, but had no guidelines to land them precisely. UGH

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