16:01 13 March 2017
A research paper on the connections between smells and cities can be used to build a smell map of urban places.
One member of the team, artist and designer Kate McLean, said: "When you are smell walking, you are often looking for the source of the odour, so the whole of our study was based on odour sources and what people actually noticed at and in specific environments,"
"We then looked at the words and the descriptors that came from that and compared them to social media and with that we found that there were correlations between what people were actually describing in their photographs."
Kate and her team then analysed millions of images on Flickr and Instagram using geographical information along with actual human descriptions.
Daniele Quercia, the computer scientist from Bell Labs who led the study, says that the smelly maps could be used to change the way we work and play.
"If you go for a run next to a street full of traffic, it's the worst possible thing you can do - when you run your blood pressure goes up and your ability to absorb air pollution is far higher than if you were walking.
"But you could have technologies that would design a run for you next to nature based smells, and maybe smells that are more energising than calming. If you want to rest a bit you can do that on a public bench, where you have lavender which is a more calming smell."
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