Sound maps are digital geographical maps that put emphasis on the sonic representation of a specific location. Sound maps are created by associating landmarks (streets in a city, train stations, stores, pathways, factories, oil pumps, etc.) and soundscapes.
The term “soundscape” refers to the sonic environment of a specific locale. It may also refer to actual environments, or to abstract constructions such as musical compositions and tape montages, particularly when considered as an artificial environment. The objective of sound maps is to represent a specific environment using its soundscape as primary references as opposed to visual cues. Sound maps are in many ways the most effective auditory archive of an environment. Sound maps are similar to sound walks which are a form of active participation in the soundscape. Soundwalks and indeed, sound maps encourage the participants to listen discriminatively, and moreover, to make critical judgments about the sounds heard and their contribution to the balance or imbalance of the sonic environment. However, soundwalks will plot out a route for the user to follow and give guidance as to what the user may be hearing at each checkpoint. Sound maps, on the other hand, have specific soundscapes recorded that users can listen to at each checkpoint.
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