Where you able to find the right answer?


We published a posting just prior to Midsummer Day which invited readers to sharpen their investigative journalistic skills. As an assignment, we asked you to find out the city, street and house number in front of the parked car in the picture.

Correct answer

The first logical step is to look at the information displayed on the car’s interior screen.

The WDR 2 radio station, which according to information from Wikipedia is based out of Cologne, is being played in the car. It can be assumed that the car was in Germany at the moment when the picture was taken, most likely in the North Rhine- Westphalia area.

The GPS device indicates that in the vicinity of the car the highway numbers are 224 (possibly 274, the picture is hard to read exactly) and 52.

-Using Google map search for Western Germany, it becomes apparent that highways 224 and 52 intersect in Essen, Germany.

-When comparing the car’s interior screen’s map and the Essen map, it becomes clear that during the taking of the picture the car was in Rüttenscheid district, by the Ursulastrasse or Heidistraase streets.

Using this information, we can get a fairly close answer to the city, the streets and the number of the possible house. However since the goal is to have a precise address, you must use a secondary finding source – picture search.

-The signature of the photo shows that it comes from the Vida Press image bank, which requires a user account for access. Looking for a similar photo using Tineye.com image search you can also find it at Alamy.com image bank.

-The author of the photo is shown as Jochen Tack. Using Google to search that name we came to a German photographer’s home page, with a contact address of Ursulastrasse 9 in Essen, Germany.

-It is apparent from the photo-gallery that in the same photo shoot other pictures were taken where you can see a house that had a car parked in front. If you wish you can also find the car license number EJT150 in one of the photos.

-Google Street View search confirms that the photo was taken in front of the house with the same address as Jochen Tack’s studio: Essen, Ursulastrasse 9. This is the correct answer.

How did the readers solve this task?

We made the game available on a public blog and Facebook on Thursday, 21 June at 9:00.

The first response arrived 9:12 unfortunately, it was wrong.

The first answer, which contained the correct street name as well as a possible option with a house number 9, arrived at 9:24.

The first answer given by a professional journalist (we sent a message with the task to research editors of Estonian media the previous day) arrived at 11:12 with the correct street name but the wrong house. We did not receive a single 100% correct answer from any professional sources. Therefore, the amateurs won over the professionals this time.

The majority of respondents used a navi screenshot in the search engine to find a solution, which only gives an approximate result. However, several respondents used two different methods for their conclusions, which included a pictorial and a photographic trace. Therefore, the participants who came up with the right answer can consider themselves winners of the game.

Read more about public sources based on investigative journalism here.

Pictures: screenshots from the sites referred to in the story.