[accessibleimage] Volcanoes and law
- From: Lisa Yayla <fnugg@xxxxxxxxx>
- To: accessibleimage@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2006 14:04:02 +0200
Thought this would be interesting, First article from New Scientist
about making information from nature accessible through sound
(interesting also about ear eye difference in information retrieval).
and the second about making man's law accessible. Here just include
link to Washington State Bar Association.
People First: Ensuring Equal Access for People with Disabilities
Including link to Mt. Etna Sonification
Volcanoes may reveal secrets through 'song'
Active volcanoes are being made to "sing" by researchers who convert
seismic data into frequencies audible to human ears. Although the
volcanoes are unlikely to sell many records, the technique could make it
easier to detect patterns that warn of an eruption.
High-powered computers are being used to convert seismic readings from
Mount Etna in Sicily and Tungurahua in Ecuador into audible rumbles,
roars, beeps, and even piano music.
The technique, known as "sonification", is used to help people detect
patterns in complex data. Research has shown that people find it easier
to detect patterns audibly rather than visually. While the eye can
quickly become confused by visual representations of very complex data,
the ear is very good at sorting patterns from random noise.
"The human ear is a logorithmic device. It's much more sensitive than
the human eye," says Roberto Barbera, a physicist at the University of
Catania in Italy. "We can figure things out that we couldn't otherwise."
Barbera and colleagues at the University of Salerno, Italy, have been
working at sonifying the data from Mount Etna, one of the most active
volcanoes in the world. Recently they added information from the
Sonification is very computer intensive, so the researchers used the
European GEANT2 and Latin American ALICE-RedCLARA research computer
networks to process the information.
The researchers have made the volcanoes sound like heavy wind outside
the window in one case, like a powerful engine idling in another. They
also mapped the sounds onto MIDI piano, resulting in some
avant-garde-sounding pieces. Listen to the piano versions of Mount Etna
and Tungurahua in action.
Bruce Walker, a psychologist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, US,
says that a number of researchers are experimenting with sonification to
help them analyse complex information. "The auditory system is the best
pattern recognition device we have. If you're trying to find patterns in
complex, time-varying data, then listening to it is much more effective
than looking at it," he says.
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