Occasional posts on subjects including field recording, London history and literature, other websites worth looking at, articles in the press, and news of sound-related events.

09 January 2011

The All-in-One London Map is now online

IT WAS ALL meant to be over by Christmas, according to an earlier post, but better late than never.

The new All-in-One London Map is now online, combining the different recording types on the London Sound Survey into a single interface. It’s not finished yet by a long way. More historical map layers are planned, and quite a few sound recordings remain to be added. So far, the whole section consists of around 390 carefully-aligned map tiles and 120 image maps. Now you know why there’s not been any new recordings on the site for a few weeks.

I reckon it’s the first sound map to use historical mapping, and it’s probably also the only one to have the slightly antiquated method of image maps targetting iframes. Adobe Fireworks CS4 was used to prepare the image maps, but there are much cheaper programs available which can do the job, and there’s also a free online tool for making them.

For arranging sounds onto something representing the size of a city or less, image maps are worth considering as an alternative to the ubiquitous Google map. They give you a lot of control over the graphics and they make layering easy. Plus you’ll know that your site visitors are more likely to be listening to your recordings than trying to spot nude sunbathers.

Any gloating over the finished result has been stopped short by seeing how thinly spread the 600-plus recordings of the London Sound Survey are. Large areas of the city have very few recordings indeed, making me realise how the work of documenting London’s sounds has barely begun. But I hope you’ll get some pleasure from the results so far and, if you do, then those shiny social sharing buttons on the right-hand side are there to help spread the word.