Yahoo develop Maps software that gives the “most beautiful” route

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Bored of your commute? Looking for a slightly more interesting journey? Yahoo might soon be able to help. Researchers at the company have come up with an algorithm that will plot you a route based on the “most beautiful” journey between A and B.

beauty

Its pretty clever how it works. According to Technology Review, Yahoo scraped data from Google Streetview and Geograph, and then setup a website called UrbanGems to ask users to rank what they thought was the most ‘beautiful’ photo. This means that every place has a ‘beauty’ score – and so when plotting your route, the software could plot every possible route, and figure out which one has the best cumulative beauty score.

Cleverly, this data was also enhanced by feeding in the collective wisdom of Flickr users (also owned by Yahoo) – with lots of photos being taken in the same place, underlined by comments containing positive emotions suggesting that the location is particularly attractive.

At the moment it only covers part of Central London – and the mapping tool itself doesn’t appear accessible to the public, but here’s hoping they open it up soon. We presume that if you try to search for a route in Birmingham it’ll display an error message.

James O’Malley