When I saw this in the latest SDRN mailing, I thought researchers have discovered what many already know: happiness through looking at, and using, maps. Not so. Read on, especially you iPhoners:
Researchers at the London School of Economics have created a new iPhone application intended to map happiness across the UK. Researchers will beep users once a day to ask how users are feeling, and a few basic things to control for: who they are with, where they are, what they're doing. This data gets sent back - anonymously and securely - to their data store, along with the user's approximate location from the iPhone's GPS, and a noise-level measure. The researchers are keen to understand how people's feelings are affected by features of their current environment, including factors such as air pollution, noise and green spaces.
Just how happy you'll be at being beeped every day remains to be seen (sounds a bit like voluntary stalking). I'm waiting for the movie. More at http://www.mappiness.org.uk