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Locative Audio
Turn traditional maps into fully interactive audiovisual experiences to transform your sense of place.
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Use geolocated sound, voice, and music to create engaging experiences for your visitors. When outdoors, SonicMaps uses location services (e.g. GPS) to automatically deliver audio-visual content to your audience as they walk, just like a real tour guide. At home, everyone can still interact with your project using our virtual listener mode, either from the SonicMaps Player App or your own embedded map.

At the core of the SonicMaps platform is our easy-to-use online Editor, offering a multi-layer approach to storytelling and soundscape composition where you can mix and overlap multiple layers of sound on a map. This is extremely useful, for example, if you have some background music covering a large geographical area, along with several voice recordings at specific spot locations within that area, or if you want to crossfade audio files as the user walks from one location to another. This approach ensures a seamless, more natural experience for your visitors who can enjoy your guided tour or soundwalk with their own smartphone and headphones without the hassle of scanning QR codes or manually playing the right audio file from a list. (less)

Create and navigate location-based immersive experiences Soundwalks | Audio Tours | Storytelling | Poetry | Installations The SonicMaps platform provides you with everything you need Online Editor | PWA Player | Analytics | Text to Speech | Embedding

SonicMaps Editor

Discover our feature-rich authoring tool for locative media.

Draw overlapping or disconnected zones (geofences) on the map. Group them into stacked layers to facilitate your workflow. draw geofences Upload and assign an audio file, text or image to any existing zone. Adjust sound parameters and playback options as required. zone settings Test your project at any location with our remote listening mode in order to simulate the end-user experience. listening mode Switch between map styles and optionally draw routes to guide your visitors in linear narratives. publish soundwalk Save and recall your projects at any time. Add metadata to describe them. save and load projects Publish and share your work with your target audience. publish soundwalk

On-Site Editing

When running on an iPad or tablet, the SonicMaps Editor can use your real location to play sounds as you build and test your project. This is useful to predict positioning errors caused by GPS signal reflections on surrounding buildings so you can adjust your sound areas accordingly.
* Requires a Wifi + Cellular iPad model with built-in GPS


WaveNet Speech Synthesis

The SonicMaps Editor implements a text-to-speech service with 14 natural sounding voices in multiple languages to quickly generate high quality audio content for your geolocative projects.
* English, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish

text to speech

Audio Ducking

The ducking effect works by automatically lowering the volume of one audio source (e.g. background music) when another audio source is present (e.g. voice-over). Use it to ensure that your spoken content can be heard clearly over background music, sound effects, or other audio elements.

Video Support

We use Vimeo's fantastic API to support video content in SonicMaps so you can combine audio and video zones in the same project. Creating a video zone is as simple as adding your Vimeo video ID.

Vimeo support
The SonicMaps Editor is compatible with desktop or laptop computers, tablets, and iPads using a modern browser (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari).
Go to Editor

SonicMaps Player

Use your mobile device to explore immersive soundscapes and audio tours around the world.

  • PWA-compliant. The SonicMaps Player is a Progressive Web App that runs smoothly on your browser (no need to download from an App Store). To install it, simply add a shortcut/icon to your home screen and enjoy a full-screen, native-like experience.
  • Your position is accurately displayed on the map using GPS location services. Audio is automatically played back when you walk into a sound area.
  • Snap-To-Path. This optional feature aligns your position with nearby routes for a solid tracking experience, eliminating transitory GPS inaccuracies.
  • Offline Mode. Save any project to your device for later use when your internet connection is slow or unavailable. This option can be particularly useful when soundwalks are located in remote natural areas with poor cell phone coverage.
  • Remote Listener. If an audio tour is just too far for you to physically visit, it can still be experienced remotely by dragging a virtual listener icon around the map.
  • Spatial Audio. Increase listening immersiveness with automatic signal amplitude attenuation depending on distance from audio sources. When enabled, the perceived loudness decreases as we move away from the center of any circular sound area just like real-world sounds.
  • Easy Sharing. We have included a comprehensive search engine to let you find the best locative media experiences in your area. Content creators can also share a link to any of their projects via email or social media using a Project Unique Identifier (PUID). All your SonicMaps projects are just one click away from your visitors!

Go to Player

SonicMaps Embed

When GPS tracking is not required, embedding an interactive sound map in your own blog or website is an excellent way to exhibit your project in context. Try the example below, a beautiful soundscape composition by Pete Stollery and Suk-Jun Kim:

* Embedding codes for your locative audio projects can be obtained from the SonicMaps Editor.

What our users are saying

"SonicMaps is the most efficient and uncluttered locative software on the market. Simplicity of use is at the core, whether designing in the Editor where all data entry fields for each zone is onscreen rather than behind a menu, or the Player which is browser-based so users don’t need the extra step of having to download an app. Feedback from Recursive Arts is always quick and detailed and user suggestions are regularly taken on board. Excellent package and excellent support."
Pete Stollery
Pete Stollery
Prof. of EA Music and Composition, University of Aberdeen
"I really like the variety of editing options available that stimulate and support creativity. SonicMaps continues to evolve responding to user needs, and it's affordable, even for associative or artistic use. I also love finding out how others have used SonicMaps—public sharing of projects is very inspiring. And, last but not least, what I like most is the human presence behind this platform: reactive, competent, reliable, friendly. I send a question or suggestion and in the following hours I receive an answer and a dialogue can be established. This is precious!"
Anne Versailles
Anne Versailles
Geopoet and sound artist, Brussels, Belgium
"SonicMaps has proved to be the ideal solution to my soundwalk projects, after years of experimenting with different platforms. It is easy and fast to upload and convert sounds, and get straight to work ‘in the field’ with testing and adjustment. Their team has been extremely responsive to requests for improvements or identification of bugs across all platforms. The implementation through a web browser instead of a downloadable app has proved to work well for my listeners and enables quick updates without requiring the user to download new software. Currently, SonicMaps beats the other platforms I have tried for flexibility and smoothness in the creative process."
Hugh Livingston
Hugh Livingston
Artistic Director, Livingston Sound, Oakland, CA
"My work is a mixture of music and spoken word, part fiction, part non-fiction, and I’ve used SonicMaps for several projects, a couple of audio tours and a music-based release. It’s a really interesting way to release material and I like using it in this way. I’ve found using the product intuitive, straight-forward and robust, and it embeds into my website in a really responsive way and looks great there as well. The team are always supportive and helpful, often suggesting improvements in the way I use the product, and I highly recommend SonicMaps."
Kim Halliday
Kim Halliday
Composer and musician, London, UK