an extensive open-source Python framework
for data sonification research and auditory display




Conceptual Modeling and Data Mapping Tools
In SoniPy, information mapping is divided into separate cognitive and psychoacoustic stages. The cognitive stage involves the design of "sound schemas" with semiotics, metaphors and metonyms relating to the task, and aesthetic and compositional aspects relating to genre, culture and palette. Decisions have to be made about functionality, aesthetics, context, learnability, expressiveness, and device characteristics. These decisions are typically draw from existing knowledge and theories from relevant sciences, arts and design. The consequences of these compounding decisions are difficult to predict empirically: one of the reasons why sonification is currently more of an heuristic art than a science Nevertheless, as different conceptual models are developed, some based in cognition, others culturally determined, they can be integrated into SoniPy using the wrapping techniques outlined.

In development: Interface to the TaDa Method and Earbenders database
One example is Stephen Barrass' TaDa method; a design approach to sonification that provides a systematic user-centred process to address the multitude of decisions required to design a sonification TaDa starts from a description of a use case scenario, and an analysis of the user's task, and the characteristics of the data. This analysis informs the specification of the information requirements of the sonification.

We envisage that SoniPy's support for the TaDa method will be through a python-based GUI that captures a user scenario and provides standard TaDa fields for analysis. This GUI is connected using the SDN to a mySQL database that contains about 200 stories about everyday listening experiences, analysed using the TaDa data-type fields. This database, called Earbenders, is a casebased tool for looking up "sound schemas" at the cognitive design stage.

In future, a python interface to the SonificationDesignPatterns wiki could be developed as an alternative Pattern Language approach for cognitive level design.

S. Barrass. "TaDa! Demonstrations of Auditory Information Design", in Proceedings of the Third International Conference Auditory Display ICAD'96, Xerox PARC, Palo Alto, California. 1996.
S. Barrass. "EarBenders: Using Stories About Listening to Design Auditory Interfaces" in Proceedings of the First Asia-Pacific Conference on Human Computer Interaction APCHI'96, Information Technology Institute, Singapore. 1996.
S. Barrass. "Sonification from a Design Perspective", Invited Keynote, in Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Auditory Display, ICAD 2003, Boston USA. 2003.

Tools are currently being collected. Other suggestions and/or contributions are most welcome: Just click through to the FORUM and let us know what you're thinking or contact David via sonipy_at_avatar_dot_com_dot_au.

HELP : components

user interfaces
Copyright © 2007-2009 David Worrall                                                                                          Last updated: 20090327