Making the sonic adventure map!

After having collected ten love stories, I created a doc with all their locations, coordinates, and the information participants shared. The coordinates are ready to go - I just need to input everything into musicalgorithms!

I’ve been working on Google’s my maps for now, because it allows you to add layers. Meaning, you can view all the stories at once, or one at a time; you can view the preset path, or just the geolocation points. I think this felxibility can be really interesting once the sound is embedded as well. The paths are not in chronological order, though most people sent them to me that way. To make it (relatively) walkable, I couldn’t always keep the path in that chronological order because it wouldn’t make the most sense. I’m not sure about this - - on the one hand, I like the idea of having this preset path because it would eventually give me the ability to sonify the whole thing. I also like that it shuffles the stories around, and that you’re not following in chronological order, which goes back to the idea that this project and these sounds can screw with time. On the other hand, what I like about leaving the points “pathless” is the ability to create interconnected paths, unfinished stories, crossing over, remixing. I guess my maps allows me to explore both these options through the layers.

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to add audio on my maps right now. You can only add photos or videos. So I’m not sure if I’ll stay on it in the end. I’ve been looking into Story Maps from arcGIS too, which seems like another interesting option and would allow me to upload audio. I like the look and accessibility of the Google map, though. And Story Maps looks like it’s more for making presentations or providing information, rather than actually following/using a map.

I put up the map on the project website and you can explore the stories without sound for now.

A couple questions I’m reflecting on moving forward:

  • I’m debating about whether or not I want to include the details people wrote about each location. Especially since, as I started this project, I was thinking about writing a history without words, it seems like it defeats the purpose of sonifying that data. But, a lot of people want to hear/read those stories… I guess it’ll come down to me making a decision and backing it up convincingly.
  • Do I want to sonify just the separate coordinates, or create a sustained melody? I’m thinking this would depend on whether I decide to go with pre-set paths or not.
  • Another downfall with my maps is that it only allows me to create 10 layers. This means that I can only include 5 stories on a map (5 layers with just the points, 5 layers with the pre-set paths). Help!

I also got to do this great interview with Ottawa Experimental Music about this project last week! It’s been a super exciting ride.

Written on March 27, 2018