Test Your Topsy Turvy Geography Smarts with this Map Skills Game

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What’s down is up and what’s up is down.  Most of us are fairly used to the maps we look at having north oriented towards the top.  Angus Hyland, a partner in the London office of the design firm Pentagram, has created an online map quiz that turns north on its head and shows landforms with a south orientation.  

This geography games challenges your mental maps of the world by taking “countries and bodies of water out of context, zooms in too close, asks you to name cities of unnamed countries, and otherwise flips, switches, and distorts things”

screenshot from topsy turvy

The game is an expansion on a booklet that Hyland created as the holiday card for Pentagram last year.  The firm has created a tradition over the past 42 years of creating unique booklets for its clients and friends each year.  

In 2015, Hyland and his team created an ice blue upside down card they titled ‘Up Side Down’, intending to challenge “assumptions about how our world looks and consider how much one relatively minor change can totally change our perspective.”

A zoomed in look at Europe from the upside down map by Hyland, 2015. Image: Pentagram.
A zoomed in look at Europe from the upside down map by Hyland, 2015. Image: Pentagram.

The quiz, similarly named ‘Up Side Down’, tests your map acumen by either zooming in to a tilted location that you have to identify or placed disparate features together and quizzes you on which one is the answer to the question.  

A north arrow provides a subtle hint as to which way you might tilt your own head as you align your mental perception of the world’s geography with the view on the screen.

Try out your geographic knowledge: Up Side Down quiz (quiz no longer active)



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