As reported by BBC News last week, Wild Sanctuary, a California company located in Glen Ellen, confirms that they are currently generating KML programming that can layer relevant recorded sounds over locations within the Google Earth format. With over 3,500 hours of soundscapes from all over the world, Wild Sanctuary President, Dr Bernie Krause, says that the firm is in talks with Google™, although no official agreement has yet been made.
Says Krause, "While a picture is worth a thousand words, a sound is worth a thousand pictures. We’re giving the map a voice…a sense of ‘there’ with ‘where.’"
Dr Krause has spent the last 40 years collecting soundscapes, urban and rural, and his recordings include tens of thousands of animal voices from a huge array of habitats, including cities, deserts, mountains and the marine environment.
It is the largest soundscape collection in private hands, Krause acknowledges.
The idea would be to zoom-in on particular Google Earth sites and then have the option to listen to the particular sound signatures from a distinct location.
Krause and his team will be presenting the new software feature at the Where 2.0 conference in San Jose, California on 29 May.
Dr Krause anticipates that up to two dozen sounds would be show-cased at first, but many more would be added later. Wild Sanctuary is working in association with 30proof, a media design company, to develop the new feature.
In addition to the lively sounds, users would be able to access Google Earth to display how the sounds can indicate changes over time, as with climate or usage effects, global warming, or as a result of certain logging practices. He added, "People will be able to get a sense of before and after such alterations. We now have evidence that from the sound perspective, even selective logging has a profound effect on the natural world. The pictures of before and after look exactly the same, but the sound is completely different."
About Wild Sanctuary
Wild Sanctuary (wildsanctuary.com) is home to the largest private archive of natural sound, anywhere.
Our worldwide collection represents over 3,500 hours of wild soundscapes and nearly 15,000 species. The mission: To help connect people to the wild by preserving, presenting, and protecting the voice of the natural world. We provide complete content, sound design, and media services for all types and styles of public space installations, multimedia and interactive exhibitry, web-based environments, new media, film and video production and more.
• Photos available upon request.
Links & Blogs discussing this release:
- Gizmodo UK;
- The Daily Mirror;
- Tech Spot;
- The Cleveland Leader;
- CrunchGear, and the BBC.