Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Waiting for the Gift of Sound & Vision

Recently a number of developers have been adding sound to Google Maps Street View. The combination of 360 degree panoramas with recorded sound enables developers to help recreate both the audio and visual experience of locations around the world.

The Sound City Project has taken this concept one step further by producing their own interactive panoramas and combining these with high quality 3D sound recordings. Using the application you can explore locations, such as Times Square in New York and the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, with custom Street View imagery while listening to the sounds recorded at the same locations.

A styled Google Map allows you to navigate between the different locations featured in the project, including a number of locations in New York, San Francisco and also in Sweden & Norway.

You can of course virtually explore many of the world's greatest cities using Google Maps Street View. This experience can be greatly enhanced through the combination of custom Street View tours and sound.

Google Night Walk is an amazing narrated Street View tour of Marseilles at night. Google Night Walk takes you on an immersive journey through the lively Cours Julien neighbourhood of Marseille. The tour includes an audio narrated guide by Julie and Christophe, two urban storytellers, who help explain the living history of the city. Many of the custom Street View panoramas in the tour are also enhanced by sound experiences recorded at the same time as the panoramas.

The Google Maps API currently lacks a way for users to experience the aural landscape of locations. That's why Amplifon, the hearing aid specialists, has created Sounds of Street View, a new platform which allows you to experience 3d sound with Google Street View.

Sounds of Street View has three example Street View locations, which you can explore with full 3d sound: the Place du Palais in France, Hapuna Beach in Hawaii and Balboa Park in San Diego. You can explore each of these locations in Street View just as you would on Google Maps, using the arrows to navigate around a location. However with Sounds of Street View you also get to listen to the stereophonic sounds of each location.

Amplifon have also created a platform which developers can use to create their own Sounds of Street View. Visit Create Your Own and you can download the Sounds of Street View framework and read a detailed guide explaining how to create your own Street View with sound experience.

Earlier this year Los Angeles producer P.Morris released a debut mixtape, imaginatively titled 'Debut'. You can listen to the mixtape online at morrismakes.com. The online version of the mixtape combines P.Morris' ambient tunes with the interactive imagery of Google Maps Street View.

Each song is paired with an image taken from Street View. The Street Views are enhanced using WebKit filters, so you will probably need to use the Chrome browser to get the full visual effect. However you only need to turn up your speakers to achieve the full aural effect.

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