Hack Upstate Spring 2019 – Synthesizing Centro Bus Paths

This project was created as a way to learn the Stae API and as a way to learn the P5.JS noise synthesis library. For Hack Upstate 2019 I created a P5 JS app that creates music based on the Centro Bus Paths loaded in from the STAE API. I am visualizing the the longitude and latitude for each bus route.

Demo of the Stae Music app working. Note please turn down your volume before playing, it gets loud.

The script loads the Centro Bus Paths data and applies a pitch for an individual oscillator for the latitude and longitude values.

Link on DevPost: https://devpost.com/software/synthesizingcentropaths

Link on Github: https://github.com/EdwardDeaver/HackUpstateSpring2019
Chrome users need to click the page to play sound.

Experience it yourself: https://edwarddeaver.github.io/HackUpstateSpring2019/

Press:

 https://medium.com/city-as-a-service/hack-upstate-debrief-24837aa2f77a

Excerpt:

Title: Hack Your City

By: Crystal Penalosa


this month, we joined the 13th iteration of Hack Upstate, a mainstay for Central New York’s tech ecosystem. Hosted at Syracuse’s Tech Garden, Hack Upstate brought together 150 participants and 13 tech companies together for a 24-hour hackathon. The City of Syracuse is also a member of Stae’s new Sandbox City Program, so we were excited to expand on this partnership by creating a $200 cash prize for the best hack using the Stae API with a Syracuse dataset. Two teams took up the task of using civic data as part of their application pitch. Here’s a snapshot of what the teams built and who took home the cash prize.

Edward Deaver, creator of “Synthesizing Centro Bus Lines” (Source: Daniel Viau, 2019)

Project: Synthesizing Centro Bus Lines
Developer: Edward Deaver
Tech Stack: Node.js, p5.js
Devpost: https://edeaver.gitlab.io/hackupstatespring2019/

What if data from traffic jams, taxi trips, and train rides were a disparate din that could be synthesized into an orchestra? Edward Deaver built just that — a way to sonify the city’s infrastructure. Deaver set out to use Stae’s API as the foundation for how this orchestra comes together. To demo this proof of concept, Deaver used Syracuse’s Centro Bus Routes to represent a layer of civic infrastructure. Utilizing the bus routes coordinates and bus line colors, Deaver created a rough version of what the bus routes “sound” like.

Code snippet that synthesizes sounds from the Syracuse bus routes

Deaver arrived at this sonic result by using a JavaScript library called p5.js, or Processing, which is an open-source software used by new media artists and visual designers. The color of the bus route and path of the route were linked to determines the pitch of three sound generators (oscillators). Finally, he added a visualization of the sounds, which created a live score that reflects the pitch. Here’s his take on using the Stae API:

“The API is pretty easy, you’re able to filter online. Other APIs just throw you documentation and examples and kind of hope you figure it out. It was nice having a graphical tool to filter data.”

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