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Million Piece Online Jigsaw Puzzle

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Take a huge map of the planet and slice it up into a million pieces. Put it online and invite everyone from around the world to participate in the project to piece the world together again.

Each person can hold up to ten pieces of the jigsaw, and through discussion and trading pieces with others, they can attempt to gather the pieces they need to put together a small slice of the world, or trade for information to help them locate the correct place for their pieces.

In the process, it will teach them to appreciate the color and variety in the world, the different nations and landscapes and cities, the geography of the planet. It will also teach them to cooperate with one another, to share data in a meaningful way.

The lesson is that they must pool their efforts to rebuild the world as a jigsaw puzzle, and hopefully they will carry over the lesson to real life and appreciate that a fragmented real world needs rebuilding as well.

baboo, Apr 11 2002


       JigSawSam:"Hi. Any of you guys got a piece of Mexico?"

Sally_999:"No Sam, I've got ten bits of ocean tho, if you wan trade :)"

JigSawSam:":( - I've got ten pieces of the sea too!!!! LOL"

JIGSAWKING:"ten pieces of ocean here (Tupelo, MS) too. Mite be Red Sea, NS"

[BigBadJigSawKing enters room]

BigBadJigSawKing:"Hi all. Looking for bits of Czech Republic."

Pavel_Ned667:"What you trading, BBJSK?"

BigBadJigSawKing:"Bits of the sea. I've got ten"


mcscotland, Apr 11 2002

       W_A_X: has entered the room
W_A_X: Yo! Hey kids - I've got 10 prime pieces of Ocean Blue if anybody's up for a trade
W_A_X: Is this thing on?
thumbwax, Apr 11 2002

       If people were actually interested in the ocean floor, which has intricacies and incredible features which we're not even bothering to investigate because spending billions on probing Mars is sooooo much more useful...
well, if there seemed to be a value in the ocean floor, you wouldn't just have ten bits of sea, you would have the second slope break of an obscure Kuril seamount. Or a submarine fan that caused a tsunami in 1642. Or you could make the sea interesting by superimposing seasonal winds or currents on it.

But without those, yeah, this would be pretty boring for a lot more than 50% of the players.

[janec has entered the room]
[janec] Hi all..
[janec] I've got seven Siberian tundra and three sections of a barchan dune from Libya. Anyone interested?
sappho, Apr 11 2002

       I totally agree about oceans resources and their shameful oversight, though I wonder how you could possibly know those jigsaw pieces to such marked specicicicifififity. After all, they *are* jigsaw pieces heretofore unseen and otherwise unmarked.
thumbwax, Apr 11 2002

       mcscotland... hilarious!
waugsqueke, Apr 11 2002

       Mmm you have a point. I'll take sappho's suggestion though. We could add the directions of sea currents, ocean floor structures, etc. If we're putting it together using photographs from orbit, then we could also have the cloud structures over the sea to give it some patterns.   

       Another way to do it would be not to have jigsaw pieces of the same size. The blue pieces could be a lot larger. After all, the point is to let people learn more from trading the land pieces rather than the ocean pieces.
baboo, Apr 11 2002

       Hasn't this already been done with the human genome?
pottedstu, Apr 11 2002

       good point, pottedstu. How many years did it take them? and did they do it in chatrooms? er, no.
sappho, Apr 11 2002

       Skip the sea. Land only. It's a shame that this will not raise interest in the sea, but in these times getting people to learn more about people in other cultures is of greater importance.   

       Also, this method is less intrusive than the current method being carried out: Broadcast American TV everywhere, until all cultures are nearly American.
Morbius, Apr 11 2002

       I gather we would all have a complete picture as reference. I had imagined an artists impression of the whole world with small drawings in every area to prevent the vast areas of similar coloured pieces. The sea could contain losts of images: (as it really does) coral reefs, the types of fish life in that particular area, fishing limits, boats, whales etc, would be far more educational. The same goes for deserts, mountain ranges. I (and my kids) would definately take part in this.
vimto, Apr 11 2002

       If all the pieces are of equal size, each piece would represent about 200 square miles. Significance? Dunno, but it begged to be calculated.
dag, Apr 11 2002

       Trading Cards!!! the last piece must be worth a bomb.
arora, Apr 11 2002

       that'll be the bit over Iraq then.
sappho, Apr 12 2002

       Well you know how it is - theres always a bit missing when you've nearly finished.
Loris, Oct 21 2004


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