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About

The above map is the first iteration of the Hedonic Map of Austin from 2013, a map of the collective emotional highs and lows of people living in and visiting our city. Artist Jennifer Chenoweth and Geographer David O’Donnell collaborated to create it using ArcScene.

Through an interactive question and answer series, 503 participants answered a written 20-question survey about their life experiences and where they occurred. Thousands more participated in scale-mapping events.

The locations were captured in a GIS mapping system and coded to an emotional color chart. A positive experience is lifted on the map, and a negative experience is lowered.

What is the peak? Barton Springs at Zilker Park. It is multi-colored, as it was the repeated answer to several “up” emotion questions, such as “where do you go to reconnect with nature?” and “where do you feel alive and excited?”

When emotion is connected to location, location is no longer space, but place.

In May 2016, a new edition of the map was released at the final exhibition at Barton Springs in Zilker Park.