Mis-Guide to Concordia University: A Sound Map

The mis-guide that our team has chosen to evaluate is called: Mis-guide to Concordia University: A Sound Map. This map has 7 locations, clearly indicated on Google maps, along with a picture and a minute long recording of the ambient sounds of each area.

Before starting the tour we reviewed every location and listened to the recordings. We were impressed to find that by simply listening to the recordings and looking at the pictures provided we were able to get a clear idea of what the environment in those spaces were like. By listening to the recordings separately from the other elements of the project we realised how much we rely on sound, and how important it is for the understanding of our environment. For example, the recordings for the EV Foyer, EV Deans and EV third floor all have a lot of echo, giving the impression that it is a big room with high ceilings. In the LB Lunch Room recording we can hear chairs being moved, some trays being dropped and some distant laughter, those sounds are indicative of a cafeteria. Our only problem with the sound part is that since most rooms are study halls and dining areas, they all sounded similar. It would have been interesting to use 7 rooms with distinct environmental sounds, such as a classroom while a teacher is giving a lecture.

The use of Google maps facilitated our journey through the downtown campus as we did not have to physically search for the locations nor did we have to ask around for directions. Making all the information, the recording and the image, accessible when selecting the location on the map made it more user friendly. No more going back and forth between internet pages. Furthermore, it gave the map visual appeal.

To conclude, we think the creators, Dan and Rory, did a fantastic job. Their project forced us to analyse the ambient sounds of the different spaces in order to understand what was going on around us. It gave us a different perspective of familiar places by simply making us aware of noises we usually ignore.

Kamelia Dore & Fiona Schlumberger

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