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Solutions for Act III Scene 1 - GeoGuesswhere

The puzzle title is a reference to the game/website Geoguessr, which drops you in a random location on Google Maps (specifically, Street View) and has you guessing where your location is based on surrounding clues. The implication is that we want to look at each provided image and guess where they're from.

This appears difficult at first glance, with only Las Vegas for image #6 being easily identifiable due to the visible Mandalay Bay hotel. However, closer inspection of each image reveals the presence of what looks like a partially obscured famous landmark. It is clear that none of the landmarks are where you'd expect them to be, e.g. image #3 has the Leaning Tower of Pisa by a main road of an English speaking country.

The realisation to make is that each image contains a replica of a famous landmark. This, combined with other information in each image, allows us to pinpoint each location down to the city!

ImageOriginal landmark nameLocation Other potential hints
1Christ the ReedemerSwiebodzin, PolandStreet sign pointing to Swiecko and Poznan indicate Poland
2Eiffel TowerGomez Palacio, Durango, MexicoINFRA company, Spanish text and top level domain starting with "m" point to Mexico
3Leaning Tower of PisaNiles, Illinois, USATarget/Costco, drives on right side of road
4ParthenonNashville, Tennessee, USAEnglish stop sign, surrounded by a park
5Statue of LibertyOdaiba, Tokyo, JapanSign with word ending in -YO on the left, Japanese kana on the right
6Great Sphinx of GizaLas Vegas, Nevada, USAMandalay Bay hotel, (L)uxor sign, English advertisement

Note that some of these listed hints require zooming into the images. Images #3 and #4 have the least hints as far as country identification goes, but there also aren't many similar replicas currently in existence, greatly limiting options.

Noting that the lengths of each city (or island, in Odaiba's case) matches the denominators of the right column of fractions, we then need to realise that the original locations of each landmark match the denominators of the left column of fractions. The numerators can then be used as indices to extract letters.

Image Original locationReplica location Original letter Replica letter
1 RIODEJANEIRO SWIEBODZIN E N
2 PARIS GOMEZPALACIO S C
3 PISA NILES P E
4 ATHENS NASHVILLE E H
5 NEWYORKCITY ODAIBA R A
6 GIZA LASVEGAS A S

Reading down columns gives the message ESPERANCE HAS. Esperance, Western Australia has a replica STONEHENGE, making that our answer.


Design notes:
I've always wanted to do a location guessing-based puzzle, but the problem was how to make the puzzle interesting with fixed images. When coming up with puzzles for this year's hunt I was reminded of the Geoguessr xkcd, in which one of the mentioned locations appears in the puzzle.

As with many location-based puzzles, the initial idea was to form letters via locations on a map, in this case by grouping images of replicas of the same landmark. However, this soon ran into trouble since only the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower have plenty of replicas to choose from. Thus the puzzle was changed to use only one replica for each landmark.

When constructing this puzzle, there was also the additional restriction that the location had to be available on Google Maps. This was so that images could be obtained with the landmark not being the focus of the shot, and also to mimic the Geoguessr game since it uses Google Maps for data. This was especially unfortunate since there were many great replicas that could not be used, such as the Taj Mahal in Bangladesh or the many replicas in the Window of the World theme park in Shenzhen.

There was some debate as to whether to use LIBERTY ISLAND or NEW YORK CITY for the original Statue of Liberty Location, but in the end it was decided that the length would help disambiguate anyway.

The answer is: stonehenge