Taking Your Nose (and eyes and ears) Global

Japanese are taking their noses global with a Web site that describes different odors around the world and pinpoints their location on a Google map.

Launched in December, the “Nioi-bu,” or Smell Club, has registered more than 160 scents around the world, ranging from “steam coming out of a rice cooker” to “used socks in the summer,” and pinpointed their locations.

New website in Japan maps out smells, The Associated Press, January 12, 2009

While the idea may sound frivolous, such a database could have real utility in using sensory indicators to track environmental hazards. From foul odors to loud noises to excessive nighttime illumination: scent, sound, and light pollution can indicate the presence of dangerous substances and the disruption of natural habitats.

If your agency is tracking geospatial sensory data and would like to partner with Rhiza Labs to visualize and share the information, please contact us.