|Ted Balowski, Joe Posch, Nick Gorga. Hugh's Grand Opening.|
A new city guide iPhone app says it can garner all sorts of information about a place -- including the general happiness of its residents -- by analyzing millions of photos posted on the social networking site Instagram.
The free Jetpac City Guides app, launching today, undertakes a pixel-by-pixel examination of the contents of millions of photos to convey particulars about restaurants, attractions and more in 5,000 cities. Among the secrets it says it can divine from examining Instagram photos: bars women love, hikes only locals know about and dog-friendly spots.
But more about those happy cities and how Jetpac determines happy places vs. more down-in-the-mouth spots. One word: smiles. In analyzing millions of photos of people in various places, it awards a "smile score" based on the size of the smiles in Instagram photos.
The No. 1 smiling city, according to Jetpac: St. Louis, Mo., followed by Kansas City, Mo., and Columbus Ohio. In fact, seven of the 10 smiling-est cities are in the Midwest, including Detroit, at No. 9.
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