Jessica Thompson receives an ERA to advance research in sound mapping of urban environments

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Jessica Thompson, researcher in Fine Arts and faculty member of the Stratford School and the Games Institute, received an Early Researcher Award (ERA). Provided by the provincial government, an ERA funds researchers and allows them to establish a research team. Thompson was one of fifteen University of Waterloo Researchers to receive the award this year.Borderline

Thompson was given this award for "Borderline", a research-creation project that uses sound to create new understandings of urban environments. Using a mobile app users are able to automatically map sounds in their environment, which play back whenever they return to the area. These ‘playable sound maps’ can be integrated with other forms of urban data, such as demographics, traffic patterns, noise complaints, or building permits. 

"Borderline" deepens our understanding of places by drawing attention to the relationship between the physical and social spaces of cities and the acoustic environment that surrounds us everyday. By mapping sounds in the environment, we can better understand how sound reveals the hidden dimensions of cities, and how changes in sound may reveal social and economic changes in cities. 

For more information about Jessica Thompson receiving an ERA click here.

For more information about the Borderline project click here.

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