Exploring Sonification: Representing Data with Sound

Tuesday, April 4th: 9:30am - 11:00am


consultant @ independent professional

Paper Abstract

The Georgia Tech sonification lab defines sonification as representing data with nonspeech audio Studies show that sonification, combined with visual data displays increases accuracy for people with normal vision. Additionally, sonification, representing data with sound facilitates access for people who are blind.

There is a growing community of researchers, scientists and educators developing software to create sonification. With the exception of the Harvard/Smithsonian, sonification has not been explored for museum contexts.

This paper will give examples of sonification. Software can be developed using programing languages such as python. Sonification can be produced on websites using the SAS Graphics Accellerator or the IMAGE browser extension from McGill University. The aim is to encourage people to include data sonification in addition to visual displays of data. This would provide multisensory opportunities, and it would increase access for people who are blind.

Examples of Sonification projects
Accessible Oceans hosted by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Chandra Photo Album Sonification Collection
Hosted by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

The Data Sonification Archive is a searchable database of sonification projects that present data from many scientific fields.

Explore – From Space to Sound Nasa sonified many images.

The Georgia Tech Sonification Lab is an interdisciplinary research group based in the School of Psychology and the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech.

Methods to produce sonification
A standalone software tool for the sonification of multidimensional datasets © 2014 by Jeffrey Hannam Sound Designer

Lenzi S., Ciuccarelli P., Liu H., Hua Y. 2020. Data Sonification Archive. http://www.sonification.design. Last accessed: October 13, 2022.

Noel-Storr, J., & Willebrands, M. (2022). Accessibility in astronomy for the visually impaired. Nature Astronomy, 1-3.

ID: 11072