In a move not too dissimilar from the BBC’s Save Our Sounds and London based Stanza’s urban soundscapes, the British Library in partnership with the Noise Futures Network, has opened up a platform for everyone to get in on the act of sonic documentary.
The UK SoundMap encourages participants to contribute to a soundscape mapping of the entire United Kingdom, one of the largest attempted mappings to date. The project aims to capitalise on the widely available recording equipment which is part and parcel of most contemporary smartphones. Those who wish to aid in surveying the UK’s acoustic landscape can do so by contributing their own recording via the iPhone and Android smartphone app AudioBoo.
The recordings will be stored in the British Library’s archive while the Noise Futures Network will study and analyse the aggregated recorded samples. Soundscape analysis such as this will figure with increasing prominence to urban planning and future governmental policy and regulation. The project launched its pilot phase in Sheffield in July 2010 and the archive currently stands at 650 recordings.