THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Sound and vision blog

06 July 2010

Easy does it: adding to the UK SoundMap

The UK SoundMap has begun to collect sound recordings in the Sheffield pilot area, marked by a growing cluster of blue markers. When clicked, each marker creates a 'window' through which we can hear the varied sounds of Sheffield, from voices in the city centre's Castle Market:

. . . to the grinding of a metalworks:

Some of these recordings have been purpose-made to help seed the collection, while others have been kindly added to the cause by users of Audioboo, the application chosen by many as the contributors' gateway to the UK SoundMap.

Last week, I got the chance to try out Audioboo in Sheffield while using an Apple iPhone. I'm familiar with making field recordings involving digital recorders, external microphones, and time spent at home editing and tweaking the results on a computer.

This ease of access is central to the UK SoundMap as a collaborative project. We need as many people as possible to help build a recognisable sound portrait of Britain, drawing on their knowledge of the sounds around them. I'm looking forward to hearing recordings from all over the country in the months ahead.

Hashtag: uksm

Ian Rawes

Editor, UK SoundMap

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