So i was sitting at the beach the other day. It was pretty much the first day of warm weather (summer) in San Francisco. Anyways, I was thinking that all along the coastline of almost any place in the world is a bunch of wave sounds. Then I thought about how one could map the world through sound. Decidous forests would have a color, the artic etc...wind patterns, reflection patterns.
So has this been done?

8 Answers 8


There's already a project in full swing by the BBC.


  • Oh, neat! I'm going to obscure Maine with all of my recordings :)
    – VCProd
    Aug 26, 2010 at 13:41
  • @ianjpalmer do you know what the CC/fair use license is on these sounds? This could be very handy the next time I need some Tanzanian ambience. Aug 26, 2010 at 14:20
  • That is cool...
    – Auddity
    Aug 26, 2010 at 14:55

yea the one on the bbc is nice. I also use http://aporee.org/maps/ and freesound.org, the last is a huge collection of creative commons samples but using the geotag function you can visualize just the field recordings and soundscapes.

  • I'm an avid contributor to Aporee Maps as well, 8000 sounds and growing. There is an app for mobile phones in development including gps tracking and listening.
    – jgrzinich
    Sep 16, 2010 at 0:49

I've recorded the shore along northern Puget Sound and in Mt. St. Helens Volcanic National Monuement's forest. Wouldn't be anything to grab around Mt Baker National Forest. So if it hasn't, I say we start.


There is http://www.soundtransit.nl/ which allows you to "book" a sound journey. I've also come across many sound map projects.

Global: http://aporee.org/maps/

Prague: http://panto-graph.net/favouritesounds/

London: http://www.soundsurvey.org.uk/index.php/survey/soundmaps/

New York: http://www.nysoundmap.org/

Montreal: http://cessa.music.concordia.ca/soundmap/en/

Cologne: http://soundmap-cologne.de/

Taranto: http://sonorapuliae.altervista.org/soundmap.html

Madrid: http://www.madridsoundscape.org/

Basque country: http://www.soinumapa.net/

Galicia: http://www.escoitar.org/

Tokyo Yamanote Line Sound Map: http://www.rickbenedict.com/jams/?p=701

and probably a dozen more by the end of this week...


I actually got sent this link today


which is along the lines of what you are suggesting - makes intesting listening too.


In addition to the ones previously mentioned, there are a few other projects that have been mentioned on the Phonography Users Group on Yahoo. Definitely a cool idea.


You might like to look into acoustic ecology, which people such as Murray Schafer and Barry Truax starting studying in the '60s. http://www.acousticecology.org looks like a good resource.


There's also the new sound map I've developed, the best of course 😉 on www.ecnelisfly.com The originality of this map is that you can choose between 250 categories.


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