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TravelPod's Traveler IQ Challenge on Facebook Reveals Why Men Don't Ask for Directions: They're Better at Geography than Women

See Which Schools, Companies, Government Agencies and Locations Have the Best and Worst Geography Knowledge; Ivies Not So Smart; National Geographic Top of News Media Heap

PRNewswire
OTTAWA

OTTAWA, July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.

School daze

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! "

About TravelPod

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.

SOURCE: TravelPod

CONTACT: Brian Payea, x388, bpayea@tripadvisor.com, or Brooke Ferencsik,
x275, brooke@tripadvisor.com, both for TravelPod, +1-781-444-1113

Web site: http://www.travelpod.com/
http://apps.facebook.com/travelpod-challenge/stats