populyst is launching a new initiative, together NYC, to crowd-source and to map sentiment across New York City. It is an invitation to users to mark on a map their sentiment at a given location and point in time. There is a menu of eleven preset sentiments and one that is user defined (see Legend in map below). A user can sign in as a guest, or can create an account if he/she wishes to track or review their own sentiments over time. Click on this image to open the page.
Since this is a first effort, it is a beta test of sorts and will evolve significantly over time. Sentiments as of now are fairly basic and reflect a personal need or a change in personal circumstances, such as “I am hungry” or “I am getting married”. Over time, we will be adding other sentiments and perhaps editing some out where participation is low. The learning curve will lead us to a place where users respond to the proposed menu of sentiments and will participate in growing numbers.
Our purpose is to maximize participation because the relevance of this effort depends on a high level of participation. The fact that an individual user is experiencing a certain feeling or going through a life change is important information mainly to his family, friends and colleagues.
But the fact that a large number of people are experiencing the same sentiments or life changes at the same location is of relevance to all of us in at least three ways: one, it raises awareness of sentiments within the community and anchors those sentiments in specific locations; two, it may stimulate better understanding, a change of attitude or a response from the community; three, it allows us to see how various communities are faring in comparison to others, first within Manhattan and adjoining areas and later vs. other cities around the country or world. Of course, we are cognizant that the outcome may be biased by the type of person who participates, and we will have to work around that.
Based on the success of this effort and feedback that we receive, we envisage taking the same effort to other cities in the US and abroad.
We will post more as this project evolves but this is it for now. Thank you for your support and participation. Here is the just launched map. Click on it to access.