Happiness Apps and Big Data

“The Happiest and Saddest Places in New York City, According to Twitter” written by Brian Merchant is about New York citizens being allow to rate locations that bring happiness or sadness via Twitter, a social networking website for micro-blogging.  The author goes into giving lists of which places where individuals have rated their happiness, such as Central Park and the more nerve wracking places, like one being Penn Station.  Going through these lists, some places like the Holy Cross cemetery were very usual to be on the list.  Assuming that maybe that particular cemetery might be more nicer than others, like the choice of landscaping, and maybe have a more peaceful atmosphere for individuals to visit their loved ones.  When determining the rate that should be given, the geographical locations and scenic surroundings, have a large part to play in the judgement to the chosen locations.  Anywhere that a person goes that can improve the happiness of that individual is a positive place to be because living in a negative surrounding can change someone’s emotion for the worse.  “You are a product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective. Analyze your life in terms of its environment. Are the things around you helping you toward success – or are they holding you back?” – W. Clement Stone

In the article “An app for happiness?  Somerville to test it out” by Jarret Bencks is written about an app that is part of a program called “The H(app)athon Project”.  It starts with a basic survey of information from an individual and determines what activities and services best fit their needs of happiness.  Being that this will be the first city to start off the project, it will be interesting to see exactly how this one app can aid in the well-being of any persons trying it.  To achieve happiness is hard in itself, so having a app that can help to find what fits a person’s wants and needs is one that should be tried at least once.  There’s nothing wrong with being a little adventurous.  Carpe Diem.

H(app)athon and the location where happiness is most seen.

The H(app)athon measures the amount of happiness and well-being a person has in order to increase it over time. Now that technology has advance the H(app)athon’s mission is to “To utilize emerging technology to improve human well-being and drive positive social change.” http://happathon.wikispaces.com/Mission+Statement. The way they would like to make it very effective is for people to join and lead workshops and promote so that the app can be spread. The reason why this program exist is in order for everyone to measure their life and believe that their life is more valuable than money even though we need money to survive. There are happiness indicators to compare once self and it could signify to the person the national happiness they obtain. In the motherboard website I find it very interesting how people measured their happiness level through a post through twitter. The outcomes were that most individuals were happier in the location of famous parks like Central Park and places where many people could socialize a lot.

Another study that was found was that people were living not as happy in areas where there was a lot of cars traveling and areas that can be loud. Which makes sense no one is going to enjoy living next to a bridge that is filled with cars all the time with obnoxious honks. These happiness studies also show a very interesting factor for example in the http://hedonometer.org/index.html, shows the different days of the weeks and shows the ratings of happiness through out the week. I would of expected to see a lot of Fridays to be higher than any other weekday, however many stood the same and my hypothesis was incorrect. I would like to discuses why are weekdays and weekends have similar happiness levels according to the data?


In Somerville, they are teaming up with an organization to monitor their happiness. Somerville will serve as a pilot for this project, The H (app) athon Project. This app first starts off asking questions and once you get that down, it starts to show you places that’ll better suit their happiness. The Mayor states, “It’s an ambitious idea…it will help residents find resources that they might not know otherwise.” They used the survey that Somerville had done in 2011, and with it, a date was formed to create report on wellbeing that helps give information for policy in the city.

New York, starts off complimenting us and then putting us down, great way to start off in an article. Their goal is to find happiness in a geographical way. They notice that people that live next to airports or train stations are not tend to be happy. They are always in rage with the fact that there is so much noise all around them. Even thought there isn’t much happiness in those particular areas, there are still other places that bring happiness to New Yorkers, such as New York Botanical Garden, Red Hood Park, Central Park and many, many more.

Happiness App and Data

Do you think that a “H(app)athon App” can make you happy? 

In the article “ An app for happiness? Somerville to test it out”, 

Jarret Bencks tells us that the city of Somerville is trying to work together with an organization to develop a smartphone 

app that can increase the happiness of the people in the community. 

This app is called “The H(app)athon Project”. The mayor 

of the city of Somerville, Jososeph Curtatone, said “ I 

know that the data will help us run the City as much as 

it will help residents find resources that they might not 

know about otherwise.” The officials of the city attempt 

to use this app to maximize the happiness of the people 

and increase their happiness. Even though this app may 

bring people joy, but there are some problems that might 

make this app be not that efficient to everyone in the 

Somerville city. For instance, there are people that still 

don’t have the smartphones. So those people might not be 

able to obtain the services that this app provides. 


Do you know where are “the happiest and the saddest places in 

the New York City” ? Brian Merchant tells the audiences about 

this in his article “ The Happiest ad Saddest Places in New York 

City, According to Twitter”. According to the article, the researchers 

at the New England Complex Systems Institute are using the Twitter 

to analyze and know about the emotional content of the people in the 

five boroughs by mapping the people’s tweets. The author states that 

“ NECSI believes it can achieve a reasonably accurate portrait of where people are 

happy and where they’re miserable, from the minority of people who are actively 

tweeting about their surroundings.” This shows that the researchers are 

going to use the tweets that are from the people who are active on 

tweeting about the things that are going on around them. So this way 

it will portray a more reasonable analysis of the people’s happiness 

or rage about their surroundings. For the result, they find out that 

the tweets show that the people who are at the transportation stations, 

cemeteries, medical centers, jails, and sewage facility, etc tend to 

have worse mood. Also, the report shows that people tend to be happier 

at the parks because the tweets that sent out at parks are positive. 

Besides of these, the report also shows that the happiest place in 

the New York City is Times Square (because people are feeling excited 

to be at this “Monument to American consumerism”), and the saddest 

place is Maspeth Creek in Brooklyn (because it is “one of the most 

polluted places in the city”). This is an interesting research 

that is not only showing us how the environment can affect the 

emotional content of the people, but it also helps the city 

officials to address the issues in the city in order to build a better 

environment for the residents. For example, the research expresses the 

importance of parks, instead of destructing them. 

Happiness apps and big data

Somerville is working together with an organization in order to work on an app for happiness. The app can find out the happiness of the user. This app begins with the user taking a survey and based on those results the app will suggest activities, organizations etc. in order to improve or increase their happiness. I doubt this app will do much to increase someone’s happiness but based on how much technology is now used now a days a person never knows.

As for Brian Merchant, he used twitter to do his research on the happiest and saddest places in New York City. Times square seems to be the happiest place in NYC and that is believed to be true due to the beautiful sightings and places to shop or eat in. Maspeth Creek would be the saddest place in New York City due to the oil spill it had years back, it is the most polluted water body. Beautiful areas such as parks are known to be the happiest places and transportation areas to be the saddest ones based on the research. All of this information in this article is accurate because it is based on the tweets tweeted on twitter by the citizens of New York.

The “Quantified Self”

The article “An app for happiness? Somerville to test is out” by Jarret Bencks focuses on the development of a smartphone app, which is intended to increase the happiness of the citizens of Somerville. This is according to an announcement made by the city. To sum up what the app will do in a simpler way, what it’ll do is help users identify their Person Happiness Indicator (PHI) score and connect users to actions that will ultimately increase their happiness/well-being. The app is being created by The H(app)athon Project and it will be released sometime in 2014.

The article “The Happiest and Saddest Places in New York City, According to Twitter” by Brian Merchant emphasizes on the places that are considered the happiest and saddest by the citizens of the city. Researchers at the New England Complex Systems Institute have come up with a geographical quantify on NYC’s happiness; and which they’re doing through Twitter. Citizens of New York will tweet how content they are, and with that data or information, they hope to build a real-time map of who’s happy and who isn’t in the five boroughs, which are Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. Citizens have said that the places that make them happy are open spaced places such as Central Park. However, the place that makes the citizens of New York City the happiest is Times Square. This is according to the people’s tweets.

I personally believe that these two articles are good for the people, and the method being used to find out what promotes happiness for the citizens of Somerville and New York City. Technology is used on a daily basis by mostly everybody, and so using it to increase their happiness and well-being wouldn’t be considered a problem since technology is used actively.

Happiness apps and Big Data

As the years are passing more technology appears with new things until the point of creating a smart phone application that is based on recording your happiness by taking a survey and giving ideas of how to be happier. The H(app) athon project is a group that is creating an application with the goal of helping people to find their happiness and to do more enjoyable things.  First, they make people take a survey and based on those answers the application uses the information to match people with activities or programs that might create joy on them. According to the article, Somerville is serving as the pilot community for this program which makes this even more interesting because we know that Somerville is always finding ways to help their residents and their happiness. “It’s an ambitious idea” said Somerville mayor.  Well this quote leads up to different perspectives of how to analyze this idea. Probably this application will not be free, meaning that people will have to pay for it. As we know Somerville is a direct source of this program. Even though they are doing this in order to help people with their happiness, they may also be doing this to gain money for that app and use it to create more things on the town that could make their residents happy. Isn’t great to have an application which could know what makes you happy and give you suggestions about enjoyable activities?

On the other hand, another article’s purpose is to inform us about the New York places that make people happier and the ones that make them unhappy based on twitter status. “We find that public mood is generally highest in public parks and lowest at transportation hubs, and locate other areas of strong sentiment such as cemeteries, medical centers, a jail, and a sewage facility,” the report notes. Are you wondering why a simple park makes people happier than other places? Well, the answer is very simple; parks used to be a place where people can have the opportunity of forgetting about their routine and only concentration the natural view that the park is giving to them. But why aren’t we happy with places like a train station when we know that it takes us to our place where we can grow up as professionals and success like our job? Well probably is because some people are tired of the same routine every day and been on a train station reminds them on how their day will be while being on the park the only thing they think about is enjoying the time without stressing.

“Quantified Self”

Somerville is collaborating with The H(app)athon app to increase the happiness of different people. The H(app)athon app conducts surveys which determines a person’s over all happiness and well being. People are not scored on their happiness but are given pictures that are suppose to display their happiness at that time.The survey takes about two weeks to complete and through its course direct messages will be sent to the survey takers.”The first prompt is designed to gauge your actions/mood during the day, and the second at night (our “Daily Diary”)”. This app is created to help people realize what makes them happy as well as what they can do to achieve a higher level of happiness. Officials believe that new ideas and techniques in order to reach happiness will emerge from the app. According to Mayor Joseph Curtatone, “It’s an ambitious idea. But I know that the data will help us run the City as much as it will help
residents find resources that they might not know about otherwise.” The H(app)athon Project is planning to start in 2014.

Hedonometer.org is using Twitter to measure how people are feeling at the moment. The happiness that is measured is determined by what people tweet that day.The Daily Happiness Averages for twitter from September 2008 to the present has dropped significantly.

Researchers at the New England Complex Institute are trying to find out people’s happiness by looking at NYC’s geographical happiness and to compare them to different places around the world. Karla Bertrand, Maya Bialik, Kawandeep Virdee, Andreas Gros and Yaneer Bar-Yam created a map that shows where the majority of the happier tweets are in the world and the angrier tweets. Central Park is said to be a very happy place because the tweets that are coming from there by the people are blissful. Other places that are said to have the happiest people include, Marcus Garvey Park, Astoria Park, Times Square and Prospect Park. Some of the places in the world that don’t promote happiness include the Brooklyn Bridge, LaGuardia Airport, and Penn Station. It is important for city officials to pin point what is causing happiness and/or anguish in their city, so that change can be implemented to ensure better living situations and promote happiness for the people.


Happiness across the globe

In the town Somerville, the h(app)athon project are creating an app that is suppose to increase happiness of individuals. they started it off by giving surveys to resident to get an idea on what the person likes. After getting to know what the resident like, the app will give resources based on the things the resident likes. This is not a bad idea but the internet is full of things that can make people happy. i’m thinking the app will help residents to find things that they couldn’t and it is something that they would really like.

New York city is not the happiest place to live especially in this economy. there are happy and sad places in new york. based on tweets Most of lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn and queens seem to be the saddest place in new york. people get outrage quickly especially in the city wheres there is traffic everywhere at all time. the happy places in the city are mostly  parks, people go to parks to relax and enjoy them selves.

Happiness in where we live

In the article they Discuss how twitter determined peoples happiness based on peoples tweets and the places they tweet from. ” By mapping the emotional content of New Yorkers’ tweets, they hope to build a real-time map of who’s happy and who’s bummed out across the five boroughs”. Researchers based peoples tweets by peoples use of key words, phrases and emoticons to determine the mood of each tweet. Happiness also correlates to leisure and wealth but not as much one thinks. The NECSI believes it can achieve a reasonably accurate portrait of where people are happy and where they’re miserable. According to the Article researchers determined that some of the most happiest places according to peoples tweets are:

Central Park

the Botanical gardens

and the most happiest place is Times square

Some of the most miserable places are:

Penn station

JFK Airport

LaGuardia Airport

I thought this article was very interesting because i got to see what places people were the happiest and what places made people miserable. it was surprising that the most happiest place was Times square because its very noisy and crowed over there but at the same time i can see where it may bring someone happiness because time square is very diverse. Its also interesting how social media Effects our daily lives. I also learned that Sometimes its not always how you live its where you live.

In Somerville they partnered with an organization to create an app geared toward generating and increasing happiness. the app is part of the happ(a)thon project, first the app starts with a survey then various activities to boost the users happiness. based on this app officials in somerville can determine their citizens happiness. i think this app can be useful and use less at the same time because one can determine their individual happiness but its not really useful for everybody because everyone’s happiness is different.