Coming to a Location Near You

This is a logistics challenge requiring contributions from several members of your team. To receive the answer, you must take a number of photos showing team members with places or things that have English Wikipedia articles.

Please read all of the instructions carefully before starting, or you may end up traveling to a location that doesn’t help you satisfy the requirements.


First, determine the number of members on your team and consult the following table:

Team sizeNTeam sizeNTeam sizeNTeam sizeN

You must take photos of N different team members. Each photo must contain a different location or object with an English Wikipedia article, referred to as a target. Your team member must hold up a piece of paper with your team name (readable in the photo) and must be within 20 meters of the target. We should be able to verify clearly that you are in front of your claimed target. Remember that we haven’t been to most targets and may be relying on the Wikipedia article when verifying your photo.

For each photo, you will need to compute a distance number representing how far the location is from MIT, as explained below. If less than half of your team members are undergraduate students (at MIT or otherwise), all of your photos must have distinct distance numbers. Otherwise, at least half must have distinct distance numbers.


Your targets must be stationary; for example, a person or a movable object is not a valid target. Your targets must be precisely located; each target’s ground footprint should fit within a circle of diameter 500 meters or less. Your targets must be unique; for example, while McDonald’s has a Wikipedia article, your local McDonald’s branch is not a valid target unless it is notable enough to have its own Wikipedia article.

At most one target may be part of or found within a public transportation system.

Distance Numbers

To obtain each target’s distance number, do the following:

  1. Go here, and set the distance units to kilometers.
  2. Enter 77 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA.
  3. Enter the address or latitude & longitude of where the team member is standing in the photo.
  4. The distance number is the value in the Total Distance box, rounded to the nearest integer. (Zero is allowed.)
  5. Click “Clear Map” between targets.


Each photo should be in JPEG format with size 640x480 or 480x640. Each file should have the name


where <article_name> is the name of the target’s English Wikipedia article. For example, someone pictured in front of the John Hancock Tower would have the filename 2-John_Hancock_Tower.jpg. (If applicable, omit the distance number and the hyphen from photos for which you are not applying the distance number rule.)

Once you have collected enough photos, send a single email to with the subject

Submission: <team_name> (<num> members, [<num> undergrads])


Submission: Sosnowiec and Stallman (14 members)
Submission: MIT Society for Controlled Chaos (22 members, 15 undergrads)

Attach your photos as separate files. We’ll contact you once we’ve verified your submission.

If you have not received an acknowledgment of your submission within 10 minutes, you may use the Contact HQ link to check with us.


All submitted photos must be taken for the purpose of this puzzle. Wikipedia articles may not be created or modified for the purpose of this puzzle.

Please be as accurate and truthful as possible about the size of your team. As a guideline, count any person who will spend an hour or more solving with you.

Feel free to recruit friends and family to help, but be sure to include them in your team size.

In general, please try to adhere to the spirit of this challenge. If in doubt, contact HQ.

William S. Bergman
William S. Bergman