Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Lebenswissen­schaftliche Fakultät - Institut für Psychologie

Affect Mapping Tools

The last few years, my colleagues, my students and I developed several software that facilitate the collection of people´s affective representation of the environment. People´s affective representation of the environment contains the affective value they attach to places or areas. For example, thinking about your home town brings about memories of places, their location, and what they mean affectively to you. If you were given colored pencils where each color corresponded to a kind of affect (e.g., enthousiasm = yellow, relaxation = green, depression = blue, anxiety = red), you would probably be able to color a map of your hometown. The result would be an affective map. An affective map renders people´s affective representation of the environment visible. As affect works like a compass that indicates which places to approach and which places to avoid, it is important to be able to collect people´s affective maps to predict people´s behavior.

Below I briefly present four different software. Please contact me for further information.


Mondrian App

In collaboration with Dipl. Marcus Boettcher (started 2013). Mondrian app is a mobile application (Android and Iphone) that collects people´s affective reaction about an aspect of the world (e.g., architecture) and pairs it automatically with their current GPS location. To each affective experience corresponds a color code based on valence and arousal intensity. After extensive use of the app by multiple users, one obtains the collective (i.e. aggregated) affective map of a place. This affective map can be extracted from the server database and loaded into a geographical information system (GIS) for further analysis.


03 iOS FeelingsRadar en


Mondrian Web App

In collaboration with Dipl. Marcus Boettcher (started 2012). Mondrian web app is a web platform that is build like a discussion forum. However, discussion take place around an online map of the world. People can start threads (e.g., "Most relaxing experience in my life") and invite other people to join in to share their own experience. For this, each participant marks the map by drawing shapes that cover the zone of interest (e.g., a shape over Yosemite National Park), attribute to the shape a color that corresponds to the affective tone of the experience (e.g., relaxed = green) and add a commentary (e.g., "Most beautiful place on earth"). Users can filter the content like in a standard discussion forum (i.e., users, keyword, broad categories, time). The shapes can be extracted from the server database and loaded into a GIS for further analysis.




Shape Survey 1

In collaboration with Dr. Nicholas Niestroj and Dipl. Daniel Uhlig (2011-2013). Shape Survey 1 allows researcher to create online surveys that involve the marking of stimuli. For example, like in a recent research about the subjective localization of emotions in the body (Nummenmaa et al., 2014), researchers could decide to present participants with a body shape and ask the participants to mark the body parts that are most activated during happiness. The intensity of the activation can be set with a control slider. Participants can leave a commentary associated with the shape. Shape survey 1 is very flexible because it allows the creation of any kind of survey: researchers can upload any kind of stimuli and parameter any kind of questions. Shape survey includes some basic analysis tools; the shape data can be extracted from the server database and loaded into a GIS for more elaborated analyses. Shape Survey 1 allows researcher to add conventional surveys (e.g., questionnaires) at the beginning or at the end of the shape survey.

Nummenmaa, L., Glerean, E., Hari, R., & Hietanen, J. K. (2014). Bodily maps of emotions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(2), 646-651.