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March 16, 2007

Wichita Lineman

Wichita Lineman photo

This is certainly one of the more unusual data visualization projects I've come across. UK artist Calum Stirling took the 70s song Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell and passed it through digital audio analyzers. Plotting time, volume, and frequency on the three axes he discovered that the song produces a shape remarkably like the Scottish highlands.

Check out some photos
of Campbell's 3-D model of the song's data.

Posted by Chris Spurgeon at March 16, 2007 11:10 PM


Here's the next step: produce models from various other songs, and then challenge people to try to identify them. Could you recognize Stairway to Heaven or West End Blues? Could you tell the theme from Hawaii Five-O from Won't Get Fooled Again?

And would it be possible to use the same mapping to translate backwards, from topology to music? Would the Appalachians really sound like old-timey music?

Posted by: G. L. Dryfoos at March 17, 2007 07:55 AM