UK SoundMap – The British Library’s National Sound Mapping Project

The UK SoundMap is a currently active ‘community-led’ project that aims to sample the sounds of Britain as heard by you and me, and him and her… and basically anyone with a device capable of recording sound – even a smartphone. Everyone is encouraged to contribute, and should do so. The mammoth project utilises the free AudioBoo web platform to host, stream and map the contributed sounds, which culminates in a comprehensive, soniferous survey for all to browse, research and enjoy.

Why is the British Library doing this? If you need an answer:

Britain’s sonic environment is ever changing. Urbanisation, transport developments, climate change and even everyday lifestyles all affect our built and natural soundscapes. The sounds around us have an impact on our well being. Some sounds have a positive or calming influence. Others can be intrusive and disturbing or even affect our health. By capturing sounds of today and contributing to the British Library’s digital collections you can help build a permanent researchable resource.

The Acoustic Ecology team have started to contribute – check out recordings pinned around Scarborough and Rievaulx, including a thunderstorm, a gurbling river and Civil War weaponary reverberating around the fields surrounding Rievaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire.

In partnership with the NoiseFuturesNetwork, the project has been open to submissions since July 2010 and will remain open until the end of June 2011. The final map will be studied by the Noise Futures Network team and results will be published in time. Go on, upload your recordings on AudioBoo, pin them on the map and remember to tag them with ‘uksm’ for inclusion!

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