439rtug.jpg (1024×683)
Forget the shortest or quickest route between points A and B, and find the quickest path to happiness instead.

A new Yahoo GPS application in the works crowdsources data to direct its users through the most scenic route. 

The program, developed by Daniel Quercia at the Yahoo labs in Barcelona, combines images from Google Street View with data on the Urban Gems website, where users rate photos of places according to their beauty. So instead of mapping the shortest or quickest way from point A to point B, it claims to offer the most scenic.

The project, titled “The Shortest Path to Happiness,” was originally based on photos of London. Since the Urban Gems ratings were usually submitted by people judging each image out of context, Querica then hired 30 Londoners to verify that the crowdsourced routes are in fact “scenic”—or at least conform to some people’s conception of niceness.

In Boston, the researchers tried using the comments below photos on Flickr as an open-source tour guide. While the route mapped by highly approved Flickr photos in Boston was also verified by locals, it tended to lurch towards the places that have the most photos taken of them, which often turn out to be tourist hotspots.

The researchers claim the scenic routes take on average only 12 percent longer than the shortest routes. And since the most popular locations can also be the busiest and therefore the most hellish at street level, it doesn’t just map whether a location is just magnificent to look at, but aims to determine if it was also quiet or makes people happy.

The mobile app will be tested in more U.S. and European cities next year.

Photo via Dr DAD/Flickr via Photopin (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Promoted Stories Powered by Sharethrough
Debug
How to erase your home from Google Maps
In response to an application by satellite imaging firm DigitalGlobe, the Department of Commerce just allowed the company’s satellites to take higher-resolution images than ever before. Until now, DigitalGlobe was prohibited from taking pictures that showed distinguishing features on objects smaller than about 20 inches tall. Going forward, DigitalGlobe, the only high-resolution satellite imaging company based in the United States, will be able to use its newest generation...
The Latest From Daily Dot Video
Group

Pure, uncut internet. Straight to your inbox.

Thanks for subscribing to our newsletter!