Saturday, November 12, 2022

Mapping Your Local Soundscapes

Hush City is an interactive map of quiet areas around the world which have been collected by people using the Hush City moble phone app. Using the map you can find the quiet spots near you where you can go to escape the busy chaos of everyday life. 

Areas in your neighborhood which have been observed as quiet places are shown on the map with colored markers. If you click on a marker you actually listen to an audio recording of the soundscape recorded at that location by a Hush City user. You can also read the user's feedback and any photographs of the location posted to Hush City. The color of a marker indicates the noise levels measured at a location by the app, shown in A-weighted decibels (an expression of the relative loudness of sounds as perceived by the human ear). 

The Hush City map also includes controls which allow you to filter the quiet areas shown on the map by noise level, by the user descriptions used to tag the location, and by the location's perceived quietness. 

From the insect chorus of the Borneo to the crooning baritone song of an Atlantic humpback whale, wants to serenade you with the sounds of nature. is a map featuring the sounds of nature captured by professional nature recordists across the world. 

The interactive map provides access to geo-located immersive soundscapes which have been recorded around the globe. Click on any of the markers on the map and you can listen to an actual sound recording which was captured at the chosen location. The map includes a number of controls which allow you to filter the sound recordings shown on the map by the predominant sounds in the recording and by the type of habitat.

Cities and Memory is a wonderful sound map which not only allows you to listen to recorded soundscapes but also allows you to listen to imagined soundscapes inspired by the same locations. 

Stuart Fowkes' Cities and Memory sound art project aims to present both the real sounds of the world and also their re-imagined counterparts, creating two parallel sound worlds; one of the real and one of the imagination.

Every location and every faithful field-recording on the Cities and Memory sound map is accompanied by a reworking, a processing or an interpretation that imagines that place and time as somewhere else, somewhere new. The listener can choose to explore locations through their actual sounds, or explore interpretations of what those places could be. They can can even flip between the two different sound worlds at their leisure.

For example, if you click on the Greenwich foot tunnel in London you can listen to the real sounds of people walking through the tunnel. Alternatively you can listen to an imagined soundscape of some poor souls entombed beneath the Thames.

Chatty Maps provides a number of maps which reveal the dominant soundscapes of city streets in a number of global cities. The map is based on an analysis of the tags used in photos posted to Flickr. This analysis is then used to determine the likely sound profile of individual city streets. 

Chatty Maps includes interactive Leaflet based maps of New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Washington, Miami, Seattle, London, Barcelona, Madrid, Milan and Rome. On each map the city's roads are colored to show the dominant sounds on the street, based on tags used in social media.

If you select a street on the map you can also view a data visualization which explores the relationship between the street's soundscape and emotions. For example streets with music sounds are often associated with strong emotions of joy or sadness, while those with human sounds are more usually associated with joy or surprise.

No comments: