Uber Visualization Highlights: How Urban Symphony Adds an Audio Dimension to Visualization

Uber’s Data Visualization team builds software that enables us to better understand how cities move through dynamic visualizations. The Uber Engineering Blog periodically highlights visualizations that showcase how these technologies can turn aggregated data into actionable insights.

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine what it’s like sitting in a car driving through downtown traffic. Chances are that part of this imagination includes the sound of cars zooming by, music blasting from car windows, and sirens blaring from police cars and other emergency vehicles nearby.

Most visualizations about speed only express data visually. Urban Symphony, a visualization built during Uber Visualization’s recent all-team hackathon, demonstrates how sound is a natural byproduct of movement and speed. Urban Symphony is an experiment to see what happens when we use Uber Speeds data on traffic speed patterns on the London Bridge in London, UK, to generate a melody for a given path of road segments. It was built using several open source tools, including react-map-gl, Scribbletune, and Tone.js.

Close your eyes and take a listen, below: 

Learn more about Uber’s Visualization team, check out our suite of open source tools and frameworks, and follow Uber’s Vis.gl Medium blog.

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