In his happy maps talk, Daniele Quercia helps us escape from what he refers to as the "cult of efficiency."
Our world, Quercia believes, is fabricated for efficiency. GPS mobile mapping is a game changer in the way we navigate our cities, yes, but it has its limits. Optimized for efficiency, these systems assume that there are only a handful of routes to get from point A to B, and have the power to make those routes the definitive routes. Unfortunately, the shortest path is not always the most enjoyable, a fact that Quercia quickly learned after taking a detour from his usual commute.
Discovering a new route lead Quercia to switch tactics with his research. Ultimately, he recreated social experiments on a web scale, trying to better understand how people experience the cities they live in. Using a crowd-sourcing platform, Quercia gathered data to create a new map; a cartography, he explains, that's "weighted on human emotions" rather than efficiency.