The Urban Sustainability Laboratory

Jenn Stanley
Next City
June 8, 2015

This “smell map” of London shows emission odors in red and natural scents in green. (Credit: Daniele Quercia, Rossano Schifanella, Luca Maria Aiello, and Kate McLean)

There are many ways to map a city: a basic street map, a neighborhood breakdown, by demographics. Now, thanks to researchers from the academic and technology worlds (Yahoo), we have something a bit different: the smell map.

The authors of “Smelly Maps: The Digital Life of Urban Smellscapes” used their own noses, crowdsourcing and social media to create odor-centric maps of cities.

According to the Washington Post:

Smell is hard to record, analyze and depict visually. So to make these maps, the researchers first created what they call a “smell dictionary” with the help of volunteers around the world. They asked dozens of residents in seven cities in Europe and the U.S. — Amsterdam, Pamplona, Glasgow, Edinburgh…

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