The Ohio State University Corporate Engagement Office

Back to All Technologies

GeoGame: Online Map Game for Teaching and Learning through a Real-World Spatial Perspective

College of Arts & Sciences
Ahlqvist, Karl "Ola"
Heckler, Andrew
Ramnath, Rajiv
Licensing Manager
Hong, Dongsung

T2017-002 A novel platform that incorporates geographical mapping and satellite images for an interactive, educational game-play environment.

The Need

Many educators lament the lack of available resources in the classroom due to limited technology, limited access, insufficient time, or inadequate technical support. Currently, there are both hardware and software barriers that restrict access for many students and schools. Experts have expressed that future efforts should focus on providing students and teachers with increased access to technology. This includes training in best practices, including more advanced approaches for technology-based assessment and adaptive instruction.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. Karl Ola Ahlqvist, have developed a web-based, educational platform that combines satellite images, geographic information, and game-play to provide real-world simulations. The fundamental innovation of the GeoGame platform is the ability to provide a modifiable, interactive game board that integrates a full range of GIS supported map and processing services with online multi­player gaming affordances into an online map game/simulation environment. A separate but integrated assessment system provides a flexible and easily configurable environment to conduct in-­game assessment of learning in the game, allowing administrators to assess user understanding of game concepts.

Commercial Applications

  • Online Game Design
  • Distance Learning Services


  • Provides a modifiable, interactive game board that integrates a full range of supported maps and processing services with online multi-player gaming affordances into an online simulation environment
  • Web implementation makes the game easily disseminated
  • Changes and fixes to the platform can be readily pushed to users through the cloud, minimizing disruption and improving interaction at a low cost
  • Multiplayer real-world simulations - two to thousands of players can use the platform together for distributed collaboration