Songs of the Ottawa: Using sound to interpret historical data

2 m
Media
Cristina Wood and Tom Everrett examine records of tailwater elevations from the Domtar/E.B. Eddy/J.R. Booth Collection, which provided some of the historical data sets used in the “Songs of the Ottawa” project.
Cristina Wood and Tom Everrett examine records of tailwater elevations from the Domtar/E.B. Eddy/J.R. Booth Collection (CSTM Archives/Archives MSTC DEB-LDG-53), which provided some of the historical data sets used in the “Songs of the Ottawa” project.

Data visualization techniques are commonly used by researchers to interpret and share data. If you’ve ever encountered a bar graph, pie chart, or infographic, then you’ve already observed one of the many ways that researchers use visual imagery to render complex data sets more approachable and easier to understand.

But what if instead of visuals, researchers instead used sounds to communicate information about their research data?

This is one of the guiding questions that motivated Carleton University Public History graduate student and Ingenium Garth Wilson Fellow Cristina Wood to explore data sonification — the sound equivalent to data visualization — as a means to interpret data collected as part of her MA research project on the history of the Ottawa River.

You can learn more about Cristina’s project, called “Songs of the Ottawa,” by following the link below.

Go To Source Story
Songs of the Ottawa: Using sound to interpret historical data
Carleton University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Author(s)
Profile picture for user Tom Everrett
Tom Everrett, PhD

As Curator of Communications at Ingenium – Canada's Museums of Science and Innovation, Tom Everrett’s main research focus is the history of sound technology, with a special emphasis on sound-based artifact research methodologies. He recently curated two permanent exhibitions at the Canada Science and Technology Museum. Sound by Design highlights significant innovations in sound technology over the past 150 years, while Wearable Tech explores the historic relationship between technology and the body. Tom holds a PhD from Carleton University in Ottawa, where he previously taught in the School of Journalism and Communication. He also holds an Adjunct Professorship in Curatorial Studies at Carleton, in the Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture. You can find him on Twitter at @CommTechCurator.