Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Bringing the Outside In

Because of stay-at-home orders many of us are having to forgo the pleasures and joys of the outside world. One solution could be to bring the outdoors inside. For example you can listen to birdsong from home using the fantastic 50 Birds Species and the Songs they Make.

This interactive visualization consists of pictures of 50 common backyard birds. If you click on a bird on the visualization you can listen to a recording of the bird's song. Using the images and the songs is a great way to identify birds that frequent your backyard. Each bird image also includes a little map which shows you the species' normal habitat.

Right now, while stuck indoors in my city home, 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. This 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 that you can tell at a glance where in the world it is currently night or day. This is very handy if you want to catch the dawn chorus on one of the live microphones, as birds greet the morning sun-rise.

From the insect chorus of the Borneo rainforests to the crooning baritone song of an Atlantic humpback whale, the Nature Soundmap can also serenade you with the sounds of nature. Nature Soundmap is a map featuring the sounds of nature captured by professional nature sound 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 soundscapes 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 now includes rich media (sound, images, and video) in 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 a nature sound mix of your own creation. You can also click on the 'random' button to listen to a random mix from that location's sound recordings.

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