Personal Genetics Education Project

It’s a launch!  Go to and work your way through five questions quizzes about key concepts in genetics to pin yourself on a world map. No expertise in genetics necessary! Questions are multiple-choice, and you will be provided with fun facts along the way to point you toward the correct answer. Then, get your friends to play this game and see more pins popping up in your neighborhood. And….this is just the beginning! We will be adding questions from time to time so that you can pin yourselves in new and fun ways.

Check out the interactive map below to see the pins that are there!  Once you have pinned yourself, come back to this map as often as you’d like to watch the pins filling in. Or if you prefer, click here for the full-size map.

Map-Ed topics

Click here to check out the Map-Ed game, then click let’s begin to see the following quizzes:

- “Genetics Is Getting Personal” – 5 questions that touch on key concepts in genetics that are important as individuals consider how knowledge of our DNA can improve healthcare and shape our personal and cultural identity.

- “You Are Not Alone: The Microbiome” – 5 questions that explore the unseen world of bacteria, viruses, and fungi that live within (and on!) our bodies and broaden our perspective on what it means to be human.

New quizzes are in the works on a range of topics, including cancer and genetics, likelihood and risk, epigenetics, genetic privacy and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), and even superhero genetics. Stay tuned!

Map-Ed team

pgEd appreciates the contributions of everyone who helped us develop Map-Ed as well as those who have pinned themselves around the globe and beyond. We are especially grateful to Autodesk for supporting the development of the new and improved map, launched in December 2013.

Building the platform:
pgEd created Map-Ed in response to a one-year challenge for raising awareness, issued at GETed 2012 in April 2012. We could not have brought Map-Ed to life without Dave Bozzi, Niall O’Connor, Dustin Holloway, and Mick Correll. Thanks to Niall, Dustin, and Mick, who we first met at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Computational Biology (CCCB), for developing the initial prototype for Map-Ed. We are ever so grateful to Dave Bozzi of DB Design Boston for developing the Map-Ed platform, launched less than one year later. Dave’s on-going efforts have been instrumental as we continue to improve and expand the game.

Special thanks to Carlos Olguin at Autodesk and his team, including Florencio Mazzoldi, Justin Brooks, and Jason Landfried, for developing the new map. This new map offers much better speed and the option to cluster and count pins.

Developing new quizzes:
Thanks to an energetic group of graduate students from the BBS program at Harvard Medical School, we have a number of new Map-Ed quizzes lined up. pgEd would like to recognize Benedikt Bauer, Chen Li Chew, Natalie Hendrick, Ilana Kelsey, Zecai Liang, Dominick Matos, Kristen Mengwasser, David Radke, Millie Ray, and Aswin Sekar for their inspiration and dedication to this project.

We also have a new Map-Ed quiz on likelihood and risk in the works because of the efforts of one of the working groups at GETed 2013. Thanks to Madeleine Price Ball, Jack Bateman, Samantha Baxter, Stephaine Dumont, Linda Grisham, Tommie Hata, Dustin Holloway, Johnny Kung, Aswin Sekar, Charlie Wray, and Peter Yang for making this an amazingly productive session.

Pinning new frontiers:
Thanks to everyone who has added their pin to our map. In particular, we would like to recognize the following individuals and institutions for bringing Map-Ed to new frontiers.

  • The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History took Map-Ed around the world by featuring Map-Ed as part of its exhibition, Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code, which opened in 2013.
  • Andrea Loehr and her colleagues took Map-Ed to Antartica, bringing in pins from all three United States stations – McMurdo, Palmer, and Amundsen-Scott at the South Pole. Because of their efforts, we can say that Map-Ed has reached all 7 continents.
  • Adam Steltzner, who led the NASA team that developed the sky crane landing system for the Mars Curiosity rover, took Map-Ed into space and pinning Mars after taking the quiz.
  • Rob Knight, 2014 TED speaker and a leading scientist in the microbiome field, put microscopic communities of bacteria on the map when he was the first pin on our newest map, “You Are Not Alone: The Microbiome.”

Map-Ed milestones – a timeline

April 24, 2012
- At the 1st GETed conference, pgEd takes on one-year challenge for developing Map-Ed.

March 27, 2013
- Less than one year later, Map-Ed launches.

April 3, 2013
- Within one week of its launch, Map-Ed has pins on all 7 continents.

April 25-26, 2013
- One month post-launch, Marnie shows map with nearly 1,000 pins across 40 countries and 45 U.S. states at the GET and GETed conferences.

June 13, 2013
- Pioneers from all 3 U.S. stations in Antarctica have pinned themselves on Map-Ed.
- Map-Ed is featured at the opening of Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code at the Smithsonian.

June 23, 2013
- Map-Ed reaches players in all 50 U.S. states and 55 nations around the world.

August 25, 2013
- Map-Ed has over 2,600 pins spread across 70 countries.

December 12, 2013
- pgEd launches our new map thanks to the support of Autodesk.

March 19, 2014
- pgEd launches our 2nd Map-Ed quiz on the microbiome. Thanks to our friend and TED2014 speaker, Rob Knight, for adding the first pin!

View the map!