Biggest jigsaw puzzle in the world

How’s this for an Internet application? Take a image picture (.jpg or something), cut it in pieces using an editing program. Write yourself a web application that displays a grid and a tray that shows (some of) the smaller pieces. Let people try to put the pieces in the right place. You might recognize this as a jigsaw puzzle.

There are several implementations on the Internet that allow you to solve a jigsaw puzzle. JigZone is an example. It’s all single player and most of them are Java applets, though.

What I came up with after a talk with Eric van Bakel and Jeroen van den Berg is building such a jigsaw puzzle as a large multi-user application. Take a quite large image and cut it into a 1000 pieces. Everybody can work on this puzzle and try to solve it together. Once the one with 1000 pieces is finished, have one that has 5000 pieces, then 10.000, 25.000, and so on. If a lot of people work on it, every single one should be solvable.

Questions:

  • Is my idea unique, or has somebody else already thought of this (and maybe even implemented it)?
  • What do you guess is the number of pieces of the largest jigsaw puzzle that would be solved in this way?

When I get around to finishing the initial release of Killer-Blog, I’ll start working on it (I think).

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