Urban Birdsong data visualization


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Urban Birdsong data visualization

  1. 1. IxD Studio Project : Data VisualizationUrban BirdsLisa Woods, CCA MFA Design, February 2012
  2. 2. Oo-wah-hooo, hoo-hoo...Urban birds are not the first animals we imagine when we think of “nature”despite the fact that we hear them and interact with them on a daily ba-sis. Perhaps this is because they are city dwellers like us, and like all goodurbanites, we both have learned to go about our business while ignoringeach other.But urban birds can’t fully ignore us. In fact, some need to change to liveamong us. But I did not know that when I began this data visualization as-signment. I just stumbled across a recording of a mourning dove (Zenaidamacroura) online and was mesmerized by it.You can listen to it here:http://www.birdjam.com/birdsong.php?id=7.
  3. 3. First thoughtsAn early idea was to integrate the mourning dove audio into a mathematicalflocking animation like this one from Daniel Shiffman (http://processing.org/learning/topics/flocking.html), and add a motion sensor that activated theanimation whenever someone walked by.An interesting tidbit about mourning doves—they are not endangered. Infact they are so numerous that up to 10% of the population is allowedbe legally hunted. I considered basing my animation on some sort ofpopulation data, but the class’s feedback was that a steady population isnot a compelling story. Also, since doves don’t migrate, they are not trulyflocking birds.I knew I wanted to do something with sound, but I was not sure what. So Istarted really looking at all kinds of sound data about birds and looking atvisual representations of sound.
  4. 4. Bird-skyscraper collisions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird-skyscraper_collisions Bird-skyscraper collisions From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Bird-skyscraper collisions is a problem in urban areas. Several major cities like Toronto in Canada and New York City in the United States have programs to abate this, such as Torontos Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) and New York Citys Lights Out New York, a program of New York City Audubon an environmental organization. According to FLAP, between one and nine million birds die each year in the 1,000M city from hitting skyscrapers due to mistaking reflective windows for open sky, or being drawn to lights at night.[1] 900M ReferencesWhat Kills Birds? http://www.currykerlinger.com/birds.htm 1. ^ [1] (http://www.nowtoronto.com/issues/2006-07-06/news_onthestreet.php) Consultants to the Wind Power Industry 800M External links on birds and other wildlife issues. Fatal Light Awareness Program (http://www.flap.org/) 700M What Out New York (http://www.nycaudubon.org/projects/safeflight Lights Kills Birds? /lightsout_pressrelease.shtml) Birds & Buildings Forum - Chicago (http://www.birdsandbuildings.org) Human Causes of Bird Fatalities 600M Curry & Kerlinger has compiled the following information from environmental organizations Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bird-skyscraper_collisions& and goverment agencies. 500M oldid=378875470" Categories: wind turbine fatalities in perspecitve. Bird mortality Skyscrapers Ornithology stubs Bird stubs Health stubs This list is meant to inform the public and to put 400M This pageWindows Glass was last modified on 14 August 2010 at 13:51. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms Bird Deaths a year: 100 to 900+ million may apply. See Terms of use for details. 300M Wikipedia®Klem registered trademark has the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit Dr. Daniel is a of Muhlenberg College of done studies over a period of 20 years, looking at bird collisions with windows. His conclusion: organization. birds than any other human related factor. Bird of Conservation Concern glass kills more House Cats 200M Survey Used for Analysis Breeding habitat obligate Bird Deaths a year: 100 Million 100M Coastal Wintering The National Audubuon Society says 100 million birds a year fall prey Urban/suburban to cats. Dr. Stan Temple of the University of Wisconsin estimates that in Wisconsin alone, about 7 million birds a year are killed by cats Automobiles / Trucks Wetland Bird Deaths a year: 50 to 100 Million 0 Common Name estimate the number of birds killed by cars and trucks on the Scientists Scientific Name Habitat Hunting Towers Power lines Vehicles Urban light Glass Cats nations highways Dendrocygna autumnalis Black-bellied Whistling-Duck to be 50 to 100 million a year. Those statistics were M Yes Yes BBS cited in reports published by the National Institute for Urban Wildlife Fulvous Whistling-Duck and U.S. Fish and Dendrocygna bicolor Wildlife Service. M Yes Yes BBS Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons A Yes Yes CBC Electric Transmission Line Collisions Emperor Goose Chen canagica A Yes Yes Yes Yes NO DATA1 of 1 2/7/12 4:21 AM Snow Goose Bird Deaths a year: up to 174 million Chen caerulescens A Yes Yes CBC Rosss Goose Estimates made by therossii Fish and Wildife Service demonstrate Chen U.S. A Yes Yes CBC millions of birds die each year as a result of colliding with transmission Brant Branta bernicla A Yes Yes Yes CBC lines. Cackling Goose Branta hutchinsii F-B Yes Yes NO DATA Canada Goose Agriculture Branta canadensis GEN Yes Yes NO DATA Bird Deaths a year: 67 million "Canada" Goose (lumped) GEN Yes CBC Mute Swan Cygnus olor Pesticides likely poison an estimated 67 million birds per year Yes CBC Trumpeter Swanaccording to the Smithsonian Institution. Cutting hay may kill up to a Cygnus buccinator F-B Yes Yes CBC million more birds a year. Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus A Yes Yes CBC Wood Duck Land Development Aix sponsa F-E Yes BBS Gadwall Anas strepera GEN Yes FWS American Wigeon Anas americana GEN Yes FWS1 of 3American Black Duck Anas rubripes F-B Yes Yes 2/7/12 4:03 AM CBC Mallard Anas platyrhynchos GEN Yes Yes FWS Mottled Duck Anas fulvigula C,M Yes Yes BBS Blue-winged Teal Anas discors G Yes Yes FWS Cinnamon Teal Anas cyanoptera M,G Yes BBS Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata G Yes Yes FWS Northern Pintail Anas acuta G,A Yes FWS Green-winged Teal Anas crecca GEN Yes FWS Canvasback Aythya valisineria M Yes Yes FWS Back for more data Redhead Aythya americana M Yes Yes FWS Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris F-B Yes Yes BBS Greater Scaup Aythya marila A, F-B Yes CBC Lesser Scaup Aythya affinis F-B Yes Yes FWS Stellers Eider Polysticta stelleri A Yes Yes Yes Yes NO DATA Spectacled Eider Somateria fischeri A Yes Yes Yes Yes NO DATA King Eider Common Eider Somateria spectabilis Somateria mollissima A A, C I found interesting data about what kills urban birds, what diseases they Yes Yes Yes Yes CBC CBC Harlequin Duck Surf Scoter Histrionicus histrionicus Melanitta perspicillata F-W,F-B F-B carry that infect humans, and general stats on population sizes. But still Yes Yes Yes Yes CBC CBC White-winged Scoter Black Scoter Melanitta fusca Melanitta nigra F-B F-B,A wanted to focus on bird calls. Finally I found some data on the difference Yes Yes Yes Yes CBC CBC Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis A between urban and rural birdcalls. This was the story I was looking for. Yes Yes CBC
  5. 5. Visual design explorations
  6. 6. 1st sketchI then found an audio-visualization processingsketch that I altered to toggle with a key press be-tween two different bird calls and the sound ofurban traffic.While this visualization was beautiful and reallyallows the viewer to focus on the sounds in thesketch, this code lacked the ‘handles and knobs’ Ineeded to tell the story of how birds change theircalls to be heard in the noisier urban environment.On the Processing reference site there is somemuch more bare-bones code that turns audio in-put into a line-based audiogram. I used this codeto create the next iteration.
  7. 7. Final visualizationThe final visualization is a screen-based Processing sketch, not the large-scale projected piece I initially imagined. What I like about this iterationhowever, is that it tells the story about an interesting bit of data abouturban birds—they sing at higher frequencies in order to be heard over thelow-frequency drone of urban traffic sounds.This version is perhaps less emotionally engaging than the previous Pro-cessing sketch, but here the participant is easily able to visually and audiblycompare the urban and rural birdsong of five different songbirds as well asturn off and on sample background traffic noise.