The shortest paths to happiness. Literally

ideas.ted.com

Figuring out how to walk quickly from A to B is easy. Just plug two addresses into your favorite map app, and off you go. But sometimes getting to a place as quickly as possible isn’t the priority. At least, so thought Barcelona-based Yahoo! Labs researcher Daniele Quercia (TED Talk: Happy maps). Along with a couple of colleagues, he decided to try and code a mapping algorithm that could recommend a “happy” route.

What? How? By using metadata from social media photos and by getting thousands of volunteers to vote on images of a city’s streets, the team built a model that can suggest beautiful, quiet and happy routes. So far, they’ve applied the happy model to high-trafficked areas of Berlin, Boston, London and Torino. Take a look:

Boston-HappyMaps

Fast route: 4 kilometers (47 minutes)
Happy route: 4.5 kilometers (55 minutes)
Why this’ll make you happy: The happy path takes you from the city’s Humboldt University, where you can…

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