Mapping Your City's Smells

At the University of Cambridge scientists have been collecting data on how urban smells can influence urban life.

An urban smell dictionary has been created that comprehensively covers unpleasant or 'emission' odours to pleasant smelling or 'nature' odours.

After gathering data for a number of cities researchers focussed on London and Barcelona. Through social media they were able to detect where 'emission' smells and 'nature' smells were concentrated.

Check out the results below.



Poor air quality seemed to be concentrated around main throughfares (darker red), while 'nature' words (identified in green) were concentrated around the cities major parks.

Maybe use of smell can allow monitoring of pollution levels and lead to future planning decisions to reduce sections of a city being unpleasant on the nose. Or as the author states - create a wayfinding app to give users the most pleasant-smelling route to their destination.

Read the full article here.

Image source: Quercia, Schifanella, Aiello and McLean


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