I’m a fan of smell maps. In What the Nose Knows, I described Gawker.com’s reader-generated interactive smell map of the New York City subway system. When you moused over a specific malodor icon at a given station, a pop-up window displayed the verbatim entries (“old outhouse poop” or “stinks like puke” at 34th Street and Eighth Avenue, for example).
Today, various media sites have picked up an AP story about a Smell Club in Japan. The club has a website--Nioibu.com--where its two hundred or so members can register a smell and place it on a world map. Roll over the locator pin and the popup balloon displays the member’s entry.
In the screen shot above, I rolled over a yellow locator placed on the West Coast by a someone named “Yaya” and got this
By yayawhich Google-translates to
By yayaZoom in and it appears that Yaya was sniffing about on the corner of Folsom and 3rd, across from the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
Fresh hot sandwiches
Any Japanese readers? I’d like to know the meaning of the different colors of locator pins.
UPDATE January 14, 2009
Chicago Tribune reporter Monica Eng catches up with the story and asks
“What does Chicago smell like?” Her commenters mention the Blommer’s Chocolate Co. factory, which gets some pretty good aromatic reviews on Yelp.