The concept of taking the scenic routes is familiar to all, but practiced by few. In a Yahoo lab in Barcelona, researchers are creating a scenic route maps app that take riders on the most beautiful route, as appose to the quickest one, through an algorithm that is still being developed.
After being the product of confusion and frustration for so many years, maps have been upgraded to be ultra-efficient tools for getting you from point A to point B. Maps have been redesigned with a focus on efficiency, especially after the influence of smartphones has been a driving force behind business models, and lifestyle alterations alike. In a world which opts for efficiency over quality, researchers are developing scenic route maps to help people take a step back and enjoy the journey.
The scenic route map research team is conducting experiments on the streets of London, asking potential users to select what they consider to be, the most calming and emotionally pleasing depictions of London streets, out of a selection of a few photographs. From there a new, more pleasing and scenic version of London is created and turned into a map.
The aim of this app is not to entirely re-route our relationship with maps, but to simply encourage people to exchange a few minutes every now and again, for a more enjoyable experience. Scenic route maps would be capable of adding more humanizing elements and emotions to everyday commutes.