This route smells the best

Shortest route. Avoid highways. Avoid tolls. These are our controls on mapping apps. Bred of an Amazon-like mindset focused on efficiency. But what if we hadmapping applications that sent us on the prettiest route, or the one that smelled the best, or even the one that evoked the most important memories you’ve had from your own life?

Researchers at Yahoo have been working to solve this exact problem. They’ve used tons of volunteer hours to crowdsource aesthetic qualities and their relative importance by asking users to choose between two settings they might see on two different routes.They’ve used this data to train an algorithm to factor ‘happiness’ into their route selections.

What’s next for this team? Bringing an even more personal experience that not only takes advantage of other sensory data of the route, but even personal experiences or preferences you’ve had in that city (passing the bar where you met your wife or husband? their route might take you by there if it were close, etc.)

So, long story short, take a different route home from work today…

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