Multisensory maps that show you what a city sounds and feels like

Tiffany Ap, CNNUpdated 29th March 2016
A view of New York City mapped by sounds.
(CNN) — What does New York City sound like?
Taxis honking while cars whizz by, or perhaps it's the background chatter of half a dozen nearby conversations.
Asking that very question, researchers from Good City Life boiled down the auditory experience of cities down to the street level.
The group's interactive, multisensory Chattymaps released last week reveal how 12 cities, ranging from Barcelona to San Francisco, not only sound but feel.
Sorting through thousands of public photos by geotagged location, they linked certain tagged words with sounds -- divided into transport, nature, human, music or building -- then compiled data on what kind of emotions were related to those sounds.
For example, take this this close up of Central Park's reservoir loop in New York City. A popular running route, it rates highly for nature (85.4%) followed by human sounds (11.7%). The area correlates with feelings of trust, joy and anticipation.
Good City Lab
Compare that with the Lincoln Tunnel.
Good City Lab
A big commuter hub, 61.7% of its sounds are related to transport. The accompanying emotions are far more negative, leaning towards sadness and fear.
If you hop over the pond to London, here's what Trafalgar Square looks like.
Good City Lab
Over 50% of the sounds are linked to people -- and emotions such as anticipation, joy, surprise appear. And indeed, if you wanted to experience the hustle and bustle of London city life, Trafalgar Square would be the perfect place to immerse yourself.
The maps also appear to be a fairly good indicator of areas that are fun and happening.
Good City Lab
Pitfield Road, in London's trendy neighborhood of Shoreditch is strongly associated with music (95.1%) thanks to its many bars and clubs -- and unsurprisingly feelings of joy.
"(W)e studied the relationship between urban sounds and emotions. By matching our picture tags with the terms of a widely used word-emotion lexicon, we determined people's emotional responses across the city, and how those responses related to urban sound: fear and anger were found on streets with mechanical sounds, whereas joy was found on streets with human and music sounds."
Last year in a similar endeavor, they produced a series of Smelly Maps, which serve as a guide to a city's odors.