Sonifying for Public Engagement: A Context-Based Model for Socially Relevant Data (2018)

Milena Droumeva

About this exposition

In this paper we discuss the possibility for designing sonification as a tool for public engagement for socially relevant data. We do so through a case study of a specific sonification model and the results of a participatory focus group discussing ours and similar sonifications of “social” data. First we report on a unique and contextually-sensitive approach to sonification of a subset of climate data: urban air pollution for four Canadian cities. Similarly to other data-driven models for sonification and auditory display, this model details an approach to data parameter mappings, however we specifically consider the context of a public engagement initiative and reception by an “everyday” listener as a core principle informing our design. Further, we present an innovative model for FM index-driven sonification that rests on the notion of “harmonic identities” for each air pollution data parameter sonified, allowing us to sonify more datasets in a perceptually “economic” way. Finally, we discuss usability and design implications for sonifying socially relevant information based on user evaluation of our design and an open-ended discussion from two small-scale participatory focus groups.
typeresearch exposition
last modified10/10/2018
published inJournal of Sonic Studies
portal issue17. Issue 17

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