Yahoo Takes The Scenic Route

Yahoo Labs is adding a dimension to their navigation algorithm that aims to provide more beautiful ways to get you to your chosen destination. Researchers at Yahoo Labs sourced images from Google Streetview and crowd-sourced user opinions about which streets were more beautiful via UrbanGems.org, then assigned an attractiveness variable to each location.

“The goal of this work is to automatically suggest routes that are not only short but also emotionally pleasant,” said Daniele Quercia, of Yahoo Labs. “Based on a quantitative validation, we find that, compared to the shortest routes, the recommended ones add just a few extra walking minutes and are indeed perceived to be more beautiful, quiet and happy.”

via Wired

On-the-road

Why It’s Hot?

Marketers often ask themselves how they can more effectively inject an emotional element to the work in order to get closer to what people actually feel and react to. This is a great example of taking a perfectly good pre-existing tool and adding a layer that can expose an element of beauty in what has become a very mundane and predictable experience.  This helps elevate technology to be more humanistic and useful in how it maps to real life travel behaviors.

 

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