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General sound map

Recordings of background atmospheres and incidental noises from all over London. Some form part of a sound grid series recorded at evenly-spaced points across the city, each marking the centre of a square on the map below.

1 3 5
2 4 3 3 11
1 1 1 1 6 5 7 16 21 3 8 1 1
2 3 22 11 3 5 5 14 4 4 1 1 4 1  
2 7 4 7 9 6 25 26 21 37 5 1 5    
1 3 5 7 5 33 40 51 38 11 8 3 2
1 1 2 7 6 14 8 40 15 5 1 1 4
1 1 23 2 8 4 1 9 7 1 1
3 4 3 7 1 3 5 2  
6 1 20 6 1 3 1 1
1 1 2 1 1
1 1

Above: graphic based on a daytime satellite image courtesy of the Image Science and Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center. Each red grid square is 2.5 miles or 4 kilometers across. Left: drawing by Kaffe Fassett, 1966.

Select a numbered grid square on the left and click to open player

About general sound map recordings

Sound map recordings fall into two kinds, shown by the filenames they're given.

A sound grid recording has a filename beginning with the letters 'TQ', followed by eight digits. These are the Ordnance Survey co-ordinates for where the recording ought to be made. Each is part of a regularly-spaced series of recordings covering London. More about them, including graphics showing the resulting city-wide patterns of sounds, can be found on this page.

Other recordings have more descriptive filenames and these are simply of curious or distinctive sounds heard in different places.