What does the Earth sound like? A long time ago I came across a website that used some very interesting technology to try to answer that question, and I put it on my list to do a blog post about. Somehow I kept forgetting about it, but this morning I came back to it. It’s called Radio Aporee, and it’s the equivalent of a “Google Earth for sound”: a map site that logs and embeds short sound recordings, contributed by users, from all over the planet. Similar to how you can see geo-tagged photos on Google Earth, Panoramio and similar sites, Radio Aporee has sound recordings you can click on and play through your browser–and there are some very interesting things to hear.
Here’s how it works. Go to the site, and you’ll see a map with a lot of red circles. The first time you visit the site, a sound may begin playing automatically. The map is zoomable and draggable on your screen. Click on a red circle and start listening. People upload sounds from all sorts of things; unfortunately I could not embed the code here on WordPress, but here are a few representative examples. Click the link below each picture to open.
Birds and children in an urban park in Manaus, Brazil.
Men at a bar in Malampa Province, Vanuatu, in the Pacific.
A colony of guillemots (sea birds) near Vardø, Norway.
The lobby of the IBM building in New York City.
I can’t imagine a more interesting and inventive way to explore the world. Given my interest in geography and the breadth of experience on our planet, Radio Aporee is definitely one of my new favorite sites. If you all (my readers) like it, I may post on occasional sound from Radio Aporee as a stand-alone blog post. In the meantime, go to the site and start browsing around…you may find yourself spending all day listening, as I did!