SonicMaps Newsletter Autumn 2020

SonicMaps 2.2 released

The latest SonicMaps update is now live and packed with a number of new features that we cannot wait to share with you.

Beyond the usual debugging tasks of any development cycle, our recent efforts have been focused on creating new means of creativity for everyone to exploit the full potential of locative audio and storytelling. We are particularly excited about the new playback settings and how they can help to further engage your audience.

Also, we have listened to your requests and we are making it easier to share your creations with your visitors regardless of their location—whether it is outdoors or from the comfort of their home—and navigation device—i.e. mobile, laptop or desktop.

Extended Area Properties

We have implemented new playback and visibility options to give you full control over the presentation and articulation of your project, including conditional/sequential activation, and multiple on-exit and on-end behaviours.

Destroy sound areas, show them only when any other has finished playing, or make them permanently invisible in order to be auraly discovered. The combinations to design your map-based narrative are endless!

SonicMaps editor playback options
  • Invisible (but still audible) sound areas
  • On area exit: pause, stop/reset or keep playing
  • On audio end: stop, restart (loop) or destroy area.
  • Conditional/sequential activation: enable if "other sound" has ended

Map Embedding

embedding an interactive audio map

SonicMaps web-based interface already facilitates the generation of unique URLs to access your content from a simple link. Now, it is also possible to embed a fully interactive SonicMaps project in your own website, blog, or any third party website to experience it in context. Your audience will be able to read about your work and experience the interactive sound map, all from the same page.

Log in to the SonicMaps Editor and get direct links and embedding codes for any of your SonicMaps projects. Just select the desired window size and use percentage units if you'd like your embedded map to be responsive.

Advanced Statistics

Another advantage of our web implementation is the possibility to collect statistics of how a public SonicMaps project is performing using Google Analytics. Starting on 1 November 2020, all SonicMaps Plus and Pro subscribers will start receiving monthly reports with detailed information about their projects—unique visitors, device OS, peak hours, etc.


Featured Projects

Martin Nathan presents Beachy Head, the first of a projected series of location-based pieces exploring the stories and power of landscape using the SonicMaps platform.

Beachy Head

This walk runs from Birling Gap to Beachy Head and visitors can either follow the clifftop path or walk at beach level (although this is slower and walker need to embark on a falling tide).

Despite its beauty, Beachy Head has long been associated with loss and destruction and many stories have developed about the place. The cliffs were a favourite place of Aleister Crowley, the notorious Great Beast and Satanist, and his association with the place led to battles with local clergy and spiritualists.

Poem and other writings: Martin Nathan (except for the extract from Beachy Head by Charlotte Smith (1749-1806)). Readings: Martin Nathan and Leah Nathan. Sound recording, manipulation and editing: Martin Nathan.

The 2020 Farm/Art DTour Festival took place during the week of 26 September to 4 October in rural Sauk County (WI) featuring this entertaining piece by artist Hugh Livingston.


More than 1500 visitors have already experienced this 62-mile drive-through composition exploring "responses and contributions of human machine and human nature across a rolling landscape where stream, forest, corn, beans, and hay divide into individual movements, with cross-fertilizations, connecting tendons and textures, and even a little humor".

The DTour is part of FermFest: A Live Culture Convergence that highlights connections between the arts and agriculture.

Musical contributions from Joshua Pablo Rosenstock and the Fermentophone, Tory Tepp, Michael Bell and Eleanor Mayerfeld, Sr Christina Marie and voices from The Cistercian Nuns of Valley of Our Lady Monastery.

Discover this beautiful, immersive soundscape composition by Pete Stollery and Suk-Jun Kim where choral music, abstract textures, speech and environmental sounds combine to define the very nature of the city of Aberdeen.

Granite Sound
Featuring music by Phillip Cooke and students on the MMus Sonic Arts programme at the University of Aberdeen.

Thank You

It's been around a year since SonicMaps v2 was introduced, and we'd like to thank all of our creators for your enormous dedication and enthusiasm in these difficult times. Arts and culture have particularly suffered the devastating consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, so enabling new ways of social and artistic expression is becoming increasingly necessary. The amount of positive feedback we have received during these period is overwhelming and the main reason to keep us going.