New App Is Soundtrack to the Earth

Citizen scientists record away

Apr 23, 2014
Outside Magazine
Soundscapes recording app science news OutsideOnline

   Courtesy of Global Soundscapes/Y

Conceived by Purdue University professor and landscape ecologist Bryan Pijanowski, the Soundscape Recorder app lets you listen to the sounds of the earth. App users can record snippets of sound on their phones from anywhere in the world and share it with the Global Soundscape audience.

"I've been on a campaign to record as many ecosystems as possible," Pijanowski told Wired. "But there's only so many places in the world I can be. I thought about how I could get more recordings into a database, and it occurred to me: We have a couple billion people on this planet with smartphones!"

Once you record a sound using the recorder app, it is then uploaded to the Global Soundscapes database and website, where you can explore and listen to sounds using an interactive map. After recording, the user must answer a few questions about the sounds they heard and how they feel about them.

Unfortunately, you cannot explore sounds from around the world through the app, but the website makes for a cool listen. Pijanowski urged everyone to record during yesterday's Earth Day celebration and to continue doing so for years to come.

The sounds can ultimately be used to study sound levels around the world, which Pijanowski hopes will highlight just how noisy we are making our planet.

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