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Emotional Mapping, More

June 14, 2010

So in the previous post I mentioned my current thought, about Emotional Mapping and Christian Nold. Based on some research I did just today, it seems like he is really quite at the forefront of this movement and it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot that’s going on that he is not connected to. So I have to research a little more to see if that is accurate.

Anyways so his maps of cities basically map stress-levels onto cities–check it out at And so they are emotional in that way:

things I like:
-mapping emotion
-has a concrete methodology (using bio-sensor)
-is annotated by participants telling what they felt at points in the walk (though I am unclear how systematically this was done.)

things that seem flawed:
-unclear if emotions are positive or negative (just stress levels are measured) -walks of the particpants are in themselves a data point. Which is fine–the city can be measured by how much it invites random walks off the beaten path, but…. ? Well maybe this should be changed to things I like.
-truly personal experiences (encounter with ex-boyfriend) intermingled with more general experiences (entering into dark alley)

Things I’d like to do:
-get a broader sense of the emotional space: i.e. social encounters and their emotionality should be mapped insofar as they are not psychogeography (i.e. encounter with clown vs. walking by restaurant where I first kissed my boyfriend)
-develop a methodology (this is truly crucial)
-have a few layers of data (might be part of the methodology) -involve some urban planning principles. Nothing too complicated but some basic standards.

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