Mapping Sound & Soundscapes

June 14, 2009

“Sound is vibrations propagating through a medium such as air. The detection of these vibrations is a mechanical sense akin to a sense of touch. In humans, this perception is executed by tiny hair fibres in the inner ear which detect the motion of a membrane which vibrates in response to changes in the pressure exerted by atmospheric particles within a range of 20 to 22000 Hz, with substantial variation between individuals.” (source)

Using Soundscapes: Boat Captains off the Coast of Canada:

“They used to get their position by echo whistling. They’d give a short whistle and estimate the distance from the shoreline by the returning echo. If the echo came back from both sides at the same time they’d know that they were in the middle of the channel. They could recognize different shorelines by the different echoes – a rocky cliff, for example, would give a clear distinctive echo, whereas a sandy beach would give a more prolonged echo. They could even pick up an echo from logs. Nowadays, if the radar (or GPS) breaks down, they have to put out an anchor. Their ears aren’t trained to listen their way through the fog.” (Schaefer)

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Mapping Soundscapes in Vancouver BC, Canada:

sound-map-vancouver

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Mapping Soundscapes around the Columbus Ohio Airport

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Listening to Maps: FM Radio Map of London (Simon Elvins)

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Resources:


Mapping Smell & Smellscapes

June 14, 2009

“Smell is a “chemical” sense (like taste). Unlike taste, there are hundreds of olfactory receptors, each binding to a particular molecular feature. Odor molecules possess a variety of features and thus excite specific receptors more or less strongly. This combination of excitatory signals from different receptors makes up what we perceive as the molecule’s smell.” (source)

Ohio Wesleyan’s Smellscape

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Columbus’s Smellscape (from Columbus Dispatch)

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Doughnut Smellscape (Esther Wu)

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Resources:


Mapping Touch & Touchscapes

June 14, 2009

“Touch, also called tactition, mechanoreception or somatic sensation, is the sense of pressure perception, generally in the skin. There are a variety of nerve endings that respond to variations in pressure (e.g., firm, brushing, and sustained). (source)

Feeling Maps: Braille Maps

  • Texture of map represents (mostly) visible stuff in the environment

Resources

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Feeling Places: Maps of Haptic Sensations

  • Texture of map represents texture / feeling of stuff in the environment

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Non-geographic collage of textures/rubbings (source)

  • Denis Wood: “We rubbed everything I could put paper and a rubbing crayon on, concrete pavement, brick walks and walls, tree bark. We rubbed the sidewalk graffiti too, and of course all manhole covers, water meter covers and the like.”
  • can’t find an actual mapped example!

Resources


Mapping Taste & Tastescapes

June 14, 2009

“Taste or gustation is a chemical sense. There are at least four types of tastes that “buds” (receptors) on the tongue detect. The four well-known receptors detect sweet, salt, sour, and bitter.” (source)

3D Map of London made out of food (source)

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Pasta map of Italy (source)

applemaps

Maps made from dried apples.  Each tree is a different type of apple, thus you can taste your way through the orchard (Aileen Buckley)