Articles | Volume 3
10 Jun 2022
 | 10 Jun 2022

Sonification of Spatial Data: An Online Audiovisual Cartographic Representation of Fire Incidents

Aikaterini Foteinou, Margarita Kokla, Eleni Tomai, and Marinos Kavouras

Keywords: sonification, sound variables, audiovisual map, wildfires, Mapbox

Abstract. The possibilities of using sound in cartography have been formulated by numerous researchers. However, there are still no general guidelines for mapping data dimensions to auditory variables, while the decision of which spatial data dimension to represent by which sound variable is crucial. The method for embedding sound in maps is commonly known as "sonification"; the representation of data through sound. Many researchers use sonification to convey their data through the auditory channel as an alternative way to understand and represent our complicated world. With this in mind, we created an interactive web map that depicts the fire dynamics, adopting the sonification technique of parameter mapping; a sound variable was used to represent fire duration. For assessing the effectiveness of different sound variables for this map, an online survey was conducted. The main finding is that to represent spatial data through sound, participatory approaches can highlight the most effective cross-modal correspondence.