// new media class

Philipp Toegel — Sensing the Internet

Sensing the City — Winter 2011

sounding your digital past

In short: I am building a mobile device that links traces you leave while browsing the web to real locations in the real world. Your web history will be made hearable out there through the use of stereo headphones and custom software. It will gain a ghostly and unreadable presence in a space from which it is usually banned: the outside world!

The idea: This Project is an Experiment. It wants to investigate the possibilities of location-based data on the internet, and the power of the brain to interpret inputs correctly, not regarding through which channel they reach it (visual, auditive, tactile). It's about changing the way in which things are perceived, hopefully being able to expand what can be sensed.

How to: GoogleMaps provides a rich source for location-based data that is usually accessed once at a time, on demand and through a visual device. I will change this by building a three dimensional live-updated soundscape to represent it. GoogleMaps links every entrance in its database with geolocation data (latitude and Longitude). This geolocation-tag is used to render an audio signal representation of tha data, that is also dependent on the users location and heading. (GPS/electromagnetic field sensor)

I am using googles WebHistory service as a filter, showing only those GoogleMaps entrys, that match with the users own history of search terms and clicks. That way a layer of information is added to the perception of the user. Overlaying his audio-world with a representation of his digital past, that brings it back into the real world. The traces someone leaves in the www will be sensed in the real world.