Monday, May 04, 2015

The Real-Time Sounds of the World

Right now I'm listening to the sound of the rain falling on the roof of Maweni Farm in Tanzania. Earlier today I was listening to the sound of the dawn chorus in Tempe, Arizona. Later on I might be listening to the natural sounds of the Pacific Forest in Costa Rica.

All this is possible thanks to the wonderful Locustream SoundMap. The map allows you to select and listen to live microphones positioned around the world. Just select one of the microphones on the map and you can listen live to what ever is being recorded right now at that location.

The map includes the Night - Day layer plug-in for the Google Maps API. This means you can tell at a glance where in the world it is now night or day. This is very handy if you want to catch the dawn chorus on one of the live microphones, as the bird's greet the morning sun-rise.

From the insect chorus of the Borneo to the crooning baritone song of an Atlantic humpback whale, this map can also serenade you with the sounds of nature. The Nature Soundmap is a map featuring the sounds of nature captured by professional nature recordists around the world.

Maps have always been a fascinating way to explore the globe. Satellite imagery and Street View imagery have made armchair exploring even more immersive. Add in the sounds of the monsoon in Borneo and the soundscape of the Brazilian rain-forest and you can almost imagine that you really have been transported to the other side of the world.

This map allows you to recreate the soundscape of different locations around the world by creating your own mix of bird and frog songs which can be found at that location.

The Global Biodiversity Information Facility has recently started to add rich media (sound, images, and video) to their open global biodiversity records. GBIF Soundscape has created a Leaflet map which allows you to reconstruct the 'soundscapes' of particular regions around the world by mixing the various bird and frog sounds that can be heard in those regions.

Select a region from the map and you can listen to a mix of all the bird and frog sounds which have been added to the GBIF data records at that location. At each location you can listen to all the recordings playing at once or listen to just the bird or frog songs. You can also click on the 'random' button to listen to a random mix from that location's sound recordings.

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