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Cacophonography: A Community-Generated Map of Sound Powered by Pervasive Computing
Cacophonography: A Community-Generated Map of Sound Powered by Pervasive Computing
Cacophonography: A Community-Generated Map of Sound Powered by Pervasive Computing
Cacophonography: A Community-Generated Map of Sound Powered by Pervasive Computing
Cacophonography: A Community-Generated Map of Sound Powered by Pervasive Computing
Cacophonography: A Community-Generated Map of Sound Powered by Pervasive Computing
Cacophonography: A Community-Generated Map of Sound Powered by Pervasive Computing
Cacophonography: A Community-Generated Map of Sound Powered by Pervasive Computing
Cacophonography: A Community-Generated Map of Sound Powered by Pervasive Computing
Cacophonography: A Community-Generated Map of Sound Powered by Pervasive Computing
Cacophonography: A Community-Generated Map of Sound Powered by Pervasive Computing
Cacophonography: A Community-Generated Map of Sound Powered by Pervasive Computing
Cacophonography: A Community-Generated Map of Sound Powered by Pervasive Computing
Cacophonography: A Community-Generated Map of Sound Powered by Pervasive Computing
Cacophonography: A Community-Generated Map of Sound Powered by Pervasive Computing
Cacophonography: A Community-Generated Map of Sound Powered by Pervasive Computing
Cacophonography: A Community-Generated Map of Sound Powered by Pervasive Computing
Cacophonography: A Community-Generated Map of Sound Powered by Pervasive Computing
Cacophonography: A Community-Generated Map of Sound Powered by Pervasive Computing
Cacophonography: A Community-Generated Map of Sound Powered by Pervasive Computing
Cacophonography: A Community-Generated Map of Sound Powered by Pervasive Computing
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Cacophonography: A Community-Generated Map of Sound Powered by Pervasive Computing

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Cacophonography is a conceptual project that seeks to imagine the possibilities of a community-generated, web-based map of sound. Underpinning this map application are the ever-expanding capabilities …

Cacophonography is a conceptual project that seeks to imagine the possibilities of a community-generated, web-based map of sound. Underpinning this map application are the ever-expanding capabilities of the latest mobile computing technologies, chief among them smartphones, both for collecting sound recordings associated with specific map coordinates, and for viewing/listening to maps associated with the user’s location.

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  • 1. cacophonography a community-generated map of sound powered by pervasive computing Jake Coolidge -- Geog 239: Geographic Information Technology Seminar -- December 2009
  • 2. cacophonography cacophony + geography a mix of discordant the study of sounds, dissonance the earth’s surface
  • 3. cacophonography “dissonance writing” —a forum for diverse voices
  • 4. cacophonography phonograph: analogous to photograph; a captured sound recording (Drury 2006)
  • 5. cacophonography phonograph: analogous to photograph; a captured sound recording (Drury 2006) phonography: the art of recording sounds from the environment around us, with an emphasis on the unintentional sounds which often go unnoticed in our daily lives. (after www.SoundTransit.nl 2009)
  • 6. cacophonography phonograph: analogous to photograph; a captured sound recording (Drury 2006) phonography: the art of recording sounds from the environment around us, with an emphasis on the unintentional sounds which often go unnoticed in our daily lives. (after www.SoundTransit.nl 2009) public documentation of the world of sound
  • 7. cacophony + geography simultaneous sounds situated sounds Image sources: cnet.com, nysoundmap.org
  • 8. project goals: • community-generated and monitored • web-based • leverages mobile technologies, particularly smartphones, for both: ➡ collecting sound recordings associated with specific map coordinates, and ➡ viewing/listening to maps associated with the user’s location • freely available • open-source
  • 9. efforts to map sound: urban planning and design improving urban spaces by understanding how ambient sounds either enhance or diminish their quality, and designing accordingly sound in multimedia GIS for planning and decision support Kyong-Ho Kim, Kiwon Lee and Jong-Hun Lee. (1998). 3D Geographical Analysis within JAVA/VRML-based GIS: "Lantern" Operation. Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on GeoComputation. Retrieved November 30, 2009, from http://www.geocomputation.org/1998/index.html enfranchising public participation in urban noise surveys and mapping Mydlarz, C. (2009). soundaroundyou. Retrieved November 20, 2009, from http://soundaroundyou.com/#1
  • 10. efforts to map sound: documenting our shared soundscapes sound: complex and evocative what can sound tell us about the unique characteristics of a place?
  • 11. how cacophonography works: •web-based application passes sound data and associated coordinates and metadata tags to and from smartphones and desktop/laptop computers •audio is recorded in the field using a smartphone’s built-in microphone and then uploaded via a WiFi or cellular connection to the server, along with a GPS coordinate or cell- tower locational fix •other types of audio, including audio from traditional field recording equipment, can be uploaded using a desktop or laptop computer connected to the internet
  • 12. how cacophonography works: • When a portion the map is then viewed at a particular zoom level, the server creates a mix of all the audio available in the map’s viewable extent, panning individual audio sources left and right based on the location of the sound-point relative to the extent, and streams this combined audio out to the user. • The user can also choose to call up a descriptive tag cloud available in the extent and filter for specific sounds. Selecting an individual sound-point isolates that audio. • Any changes to the map extent, by panning or zooming, has the potential to change the sound-points visible and their position relative to the extent frame, which also modifies the mix of sounds. • Smartphone users see their current location on the map relative to nearby sound sources; moving from one place to another has the approximate effect of panning the map and changing the extent. • With each change, the server recalculates the mix to send to the user.
  • 13. interface design: smartphone apps and OSM freely distributed on mobile phones built on OpenStreetMap data: freely using applications (apps) developed with available and community-generated software developer kits (SDKs) soundpoints appear as bright points on a app stores currently available for Google dark map: the “brighter” the map, the Android-based phones and iPhones greater the number of sources available exploding popularity of third-party map style based loosely on “Midnight generated apps (hopefully) indicates Commander” style developed by broader adoption of these apps on CloudMade (2009) mobile phones regardless of OS and cellular service provider
  • 14. interface design: using sound variables Krygier (1994) first formally enumerated sound variables with regards to their application in multi-media maps: location - loudness - pitch - register - timbre - duration - rate of change - order - attack/decay
  • 15. interface design: using sound variables Krygier (1994) first formally enumerated sound variables with regards to their application in multi-media maps: location - loudness - pitch - register - timbre - duration - rate of change - order - attack/decay He was particularly interested in exploring how these variables could be manipulated to represent abstract, quantitative data, but three variables in particular are of interest for this project.
  • 16. interface design: using sound variables He was particularly interested in exploring how these variables could be manipulated to represent abstract, quantitative data, but three variables in location: particular are of interest for this project. Soundpoints are panned left or right in a stereo mix based on their location relative to the map extent. loudness: The volume level of individual soundpoints *No audio is heard when zoomed out to increases or decreases based on zoom level— regional or continental scales, in the “closer to the ground” the viewpoint, the keeping with the analogy, and for greater the volume.* practical considerations. timbre: The general, prevailing qualities or characteristics of sounds convey specific meanings about the places that produce them.
  • 17. bringing it all together: flash demo
  • 18. potential issues and means of addressing them copyright: upon account setup, users agree to only upload content that they own the copyright for privacy: users are advised that only recordings made in the public sphere should be uploaded inappropriate content: audio is both generated and monitored by the community; inappropriate content is reported to webmasters for removal and possible account termination
  • 19. potential issues and means of addressing them the digital divide: Cell phones are becoming nearly ubiquitous, but smartphones are not. Reliable access to the internet, and the acquired skills to use it, continue to pose significant challenges for disadvantaged communities (Thompson 2007). solutions? Future partnerships between the online community, community groups, libraries, and arts and education organizations may be able to bridge the divide by creating opportunities to both experience the map online and to contribute to the map, capturing field audio using community-shared mobile recording equipment, GPS receivers, and/or mobile computers.
  • 20. What sorts of potential sonic experiences, cultural knowledges, and geographic perspectives might result from the unique mix of sounds presented by each locality? What would it be like to “listen to” our communities beyond the confines of privately-owned mass-media channels? potential uses and scenarios • local, independent radio stations: streaming audio at a map coordinate • spoken word, live music performances: archived and searchable • music groups create links to their sound map: all audio locations associated with a particular tour • audio blogs: authors trace their routes and the sounds recorded along the way • know-before-you-go: listening to a place to compliment the mapped photography of Google Streetview and Flickr • political action and social justice: geographic & sonic representation for a mass audience
  • 21. closing remark— When the web and the emerging technologies of pervasive computing deliver on a promise to democratize information and information access, the result will be a chaotic and vibrant mirror of our world. Too often, a map presents the voice of one or a few over the voices of the many. Cacophonography provides a forum to celebrate the multiple voices and perspectives of our urban spaces, while relating those voices geographically to their neighborhoods, regions, and the world.

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