Virtual Smellwalk in Paris

This data visualisation is exploratory. It is a tool for rendering the city as a playground to explore by foregrounding smell over over sensory modalities by following a sequence of smell narratives across the city. Walk the trail for real if you are there. And if you cannot be in Paris let the smell notes (of a range of associative smell memories) and the locations generate olfactory images of classic Parisian scents, smells and aromas in micro-narrative form.

Still at prototype stage this Virtual Smellwalk of Paris currently features just three smell walks around the city out of a possible total of 8.7 x 10^9.

A series of themed, randomised walks (created virtually, which can also be done for real) take you across a possible 14 Paris locations. At each stopping point you receive a smell note relating to your chosen theme. The smell notes are a series of miniature smell narratives. (Of course, if you are doing this for real then you also have the chance to sniff for yourself and create your own smell narrative!)

Possible permutations for a walk through Paris with 14 locations to visit is known as “permutation without repetition”, reducing the number of choices each time is the factorial function – 14! (which means multiply a series of descending numbers.)

There are approximately 87 x 10^9 possible walks through Paris. A visualisation of the pattern of permutations forms the front cover to the PDF.

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Date: 2013

Media & size: Interactive PDF

Published: McLean, K. (2014) Smell Map Narratives of Place—Paris, New America Notes Online, Issue 6