Visualising Mappiness: Part One


During one of my regular searches for data to visualise, I came across the Mappiness iPhone application, which was developed and released by Dr George MacKerron and Dr Susana Mourato of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). This fantastic app rates the level of happiness of its users, and this data is then collected and analysed and used to give insights into where we’re happiest, who we’re happiest with and interestingly, how what we’re doing affects our overall happiness.

The app works by ‘beeping’ you at random intervals (once or more per day) to ask how you’re feeling, as well as some additional questions regarding who you’re with, what you’re doing and where you are. The data sent back to the Mappiness data store, along with GPS information taken from your phone and even a measurement of noise levels, allowing the app creators to collate and examine the data.

I was absolutely fascinated by this brilliant piece of research, and I honestly think the idea of mapping people’s happiness (and how it’s affected by their local environment) is a phenomenal idea. So, after a fair bit of searching and reading, I found some great data taken from app responses, which we’ll be visualising in three parts on the blog; where we’re happiest, who we’re happiest with and what makes us happy.

So enjoy part one, and keep your eyes peeled for parts two and three in the coming fortnight:

MAPPINESS PART ONE 690px

Click for a larger version

As you can see from the visualisation, we tend to be happiest when we’re near the sea – so next time you’re off on holiday, be sure to spend some time at the beach!

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