Map Design

Design Variety

5710.3 - XY Domain: A sound map artwork for communicating Big Data characteristics

Wednesday, July 5
4:50 PM - 5:10 PM
Location: Coolidge

This paper details a sound map artwork with a visual map component in order to communicate the characteristics of Big Data, namely the volume, velocity, variety and uncertainty aspects of such datasets. This is an attempt to address a part of the current research agenda on applying cartography to the visual representation and interaction with big spatial datasets. This is an artist-scientist collaboration that concentrates on electrical signals and humans as transducers of those signals into data. The paper traces the evolution of the artwork, details construction, collection of representative signal data and context, leading to its exhibition as part of an “Art and Space” theme in a gallery in Dunedin, NZ. Finally, an explanation of and reaction to, the artwork is provided. Visitors reacted positively to the artwork, which conveyed the characteristics of Big Data through a mix of tactile and embodied interaction, sound representations and visual cartographic design / spatial data choice elements.

Antoni B. Moore

Associate Professor
University of Otago / School of Surveying

I teach and research in GIScience at the School of Surveying, University of Otago, New Zealand. My main area of research is Geovisualisation. I have been exploring diverse approaches to the challenge of displaying mapped data: turning large and complex space-time datasets into simplified diagrams, geographic virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and art. One of the projects I am involved with is to evaluate an AR sandbox-based terrain teaching tool (where sand can be moulded into landforms that are sensed and transformed into a 3D map in real time), a collaboration with computer scientists and education specialists at Otago.


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Charlotte Parallel


Charlotte Parallel is a recent MFA graduate at Otago School of Art and a practicing artist in the fields of sculpture, sound installation, collaboration and performance. Often choosing to respond to site in a temporal way. She has been exhibiting within New Zealand consistently over the last 13 years and internationally since 2010. Since 2003 Dunedin has been the home base for Charlotte Parallel’s artistic activity which includes a range of curatorial and community initiated collaborative art projects.


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Kenneth Field

Resident Cartographer
Esri Inc

Dr Kenneth Field is a self-confessed cartonerd. After 20 years in UK academia he now works at Esri in cartographic research and development. He undertakes research, writes, teaches and blogs about map design, is Past-Editor of The Cartographic Journal, co-founder of the Journal of Maps and is on the advisory board of the International Journal of Cartography. He is Chair of the ICA Map Design Commission, Fellow of the British Cartographic Society and Royal Geographic Society and a Chartered Geographer (GIS). He has won numerous awards for mapping and for cartographic pedagogy. He tweets as @kennethfield and blogs at


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5710.3 - XY Domain: A sound map artwork for communicating Big Data characteristics

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