Wired visited professional GeoGuessr player Trevor Rainbolt to learn more about the tips and tricks he uses to identify the location from a Google Street View photo anywhere around the world. Rainbolt explains how he is able to determine the place from the construction of the roads, utility poles, license plates, traffic markers, street signs, and bollards.
Bollards are pretty much just road markings in different countries. Every country, for the most part, has a distinct bollard. So pretty much if you see one bollard, you know you’re gonna be in that country. …License plates are extremely helpful as well. It’s worth mentioning all license plates are blurred, so you have to learn what blurred license plates look like. A lot of times it’s easier when it’s a very distinct color like yellow, where if it’s yellow front and back. …
Rainbolt also looks for natural indicators such as vegetation, soil, and his own intuition.
You’re looking at the color of the soil and overall the vegetation that’s within the soil and around it as well. Are there more pebbles? Is there more grass? Is it more green?… I probably really couldn’t describe it, but some things just look like South Chile soil.