Tracking technologies and urban analysis: Adding the emotional dimension

Noam Shoval*, Yonatan Schvimer, Maya Tamir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Recent technological advancements—most notably the proliferation of tracking technologies (GPS), real-time surveying techniques, and ambulatory sensing—have allowed researchers to advance the empirical investigation of the interaction between space and emotion. Over the past few years, two approaches to the assessment of spatial-emotional interactions have emerged: the assessment of emotion using subjective self-reported measures and the exploration of objective physiological measures of emotional arousal using ambulatory sensing techniques. To date, most empirical research exploring spatial-emotional interactions has focused on the individual level. The present study is the first to systematically map the emotional characteristics of a large-scale urban environment using aggregative measures of emotion (subjective and objective). By mapping the subjective emotional experience of 144 individuals through real-time surveys administered through Experience Sampling Methods (ESM) as well as mapping an objective physiological measurement of emotional arousal (Skin Conductance Level) of 68 tourists, we were able to create ‘emotional maps’ of the city of Jerusalem. The maps identify emotionally arousing areas of the city, point to emotional ‘clusters’ and ‘boundaries’, and identify discontinuities (and continuities) in emotional space throughout the city. The theoretical and practical implications of this new method for planning and policy are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)34-42
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Feb 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Ambulatory sensing
  • Jerusalem
  • Physiological sensors
  • Real-time surveys
  • Smartphones
  • Tracking technologies


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