The Sad Beat of St. Pete
Published: February 28, 2014 (Issue # 1799)
St. Petersburg has been listed as the second unhappiest city in Russia, according to a smile survey by Jetpac City Guides – a new app that uses image processing technology to analyze 100s of millions of Instagram photos to prepare its city guides for 6000 cities around the world.
The new app scans faces and locates and measures smiles by the shape of the mouth. When analyzing Russia, the app found that smaller and more rural cities did well, as did towns with many students. The top three happiest cities in Russia as ranked by Jetpac’s Smile Score were: Saransk, located in the Volga basin, East of Moscow; Lipetsk, located on the banks of the Voronezh River in the Don basin, southeast of Moscow; and Naberezhnye Chelny, located on the Kama River, east of Kazan. Interestingly, Russia’s two capitals were found at the bottom of the ranking despite their population size and popularity with tourists. The bottom three cities in Russia were Moscow, St. Petersburg and Gelendzhik - a resort town in Krasnodar Krai, situated on the Gelendzhik Bay of the Black Sea.
As a country Russia fared better than others despite its reputation for not smiling – overall the country scored higher than Finland, Norway, Sweden, Germany and China.