April Fool’s Day: Waldo invades Google Maps, OS maps fake island


It has almost become a tradition for tech companies around the world to pull a fast one on their consumers on April Fool’s Day, and this year was no different. As the Internet exploded with crazy product announcements and wild pranks, a couple of our favorite geoawesome organizations stood out for putting some serious thought into their All Fools’ Day pranks. Have a look…

Waldo comes to Google Maps

If you opened Google Maps this weekend, you would have noticed an iconic fictional character wearing his trademark red and white sweater peeping through the side of your screen. For April Fool’s Day 2018, Google has roped in Waldo and his trusty friends from the famous ‘Where’s Waldo’ series and let them loose inside Google Maps so they can do what they do the best – travel the world!

To play this limited edition game, simply update your iOS/Android app or visit google.com/maps on your desktop. Once you spot Waldo, you’ll be transported to various places around the world where you can search for him all over again. Oh, fun!

Ordnance Survey maps a fake island

The United Kingdom’s national mapping agency, Ordnance Survey, collaborated with Country Walking magazine for April Fool’s Day 2018. The premise was to tell people that an island, which had been lost to the sea centuries ago, had risen mysteriously now and needed to be mapped.

Cartographer Mark Wolstenholme, who has been with the OS for more than three decades, took on this exciting challenge. After taking an existing island in the Atlantic Ocean as his starting point, Mark disguised the look by flipping and rotating the landmass and attaching a smaller island to it. The water line was reworked and rocky outcrops added. An Iron Age hill fort was dropped atop the fictional island and Scottish Gaelic names and symbols were given to the island’s various features. You can catch all the details of this cool project here.

So, what was your favorite geoawesome April Fool’s prank this year?

Ishveena is a geospatial enthusiast and a veteran of creating and managing compelling digital content for organizations and individuals. When she is not making magic at her desk, you are likely to find her exploring nature, eating her way through life, or binge-watching funny animal videos.