The Ocean Decade: Discovering Opportunities for Auditory Display Community

Heather Spence
Co-chair Interagency Working Group on Ocean Sound and Marine Life;
Marine and Science Advisor, U.S. Dept of Energy – Water Power Technologies Office

Workshop #1 – Sunday, June 26th 02:30 AEST / 16:30 UTC / 09:30 AM PT

In this interactive workshop, we will explore opportunities for connections and engagement by ICAD with the UN Ocean Decade Research Programme on the Maritime Acoustic Environment (OD-MAE), an endorsed action of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. The workshop format will include guided and free discussion, listening, and a virtual collaborative whiteboard. Participants are encouraged to bring brief sound samples of work that might relate to the workshop. Results of the workshop will include a presentation to the US Federal Interagency Working Group on Ocean Sound and Marine Life co-authored by interested workshop participants.


  • Identify areas of mutual interest and opportunity for ICAD and OD-MAE
  • Brainstorm potential projects and how success could be measured
  • Assess paths forward including potential resources and partnerships
  • Post workshop – interested participants develop a presentation/white paper based on workshop outcomes, to be delivered to the U.S. Federal Interagency Working Group on Ocean Sound and Marine Life

In addition to participants with interests in working on ocean data or ocean sound, the workshop is open to all attendees of ICAD. We look forward to finding surprising areas of synergy. For example, one of the “ocean shots” created for the OD MAE was an ocean stethoscope project, and there could be key tie-ins with medical disciplines. There is also interest in further integration of arts into the decade.

Auditory Graphing with the Highcharts Sonification Studio

Bruce N. Walker, Georgia Tech
Øystein Moseng, Highcharts

Workshop #2 – Sunday, June 26th 03:45 AEST / 17:45 UTC / 10:45 AM PT

This hands-on workshop will focus on turning data into auditory (and visual) graphs, using the new Highcharts Sonification Studio (HSS). Starting with data in a multi-column spreadsheet format, we will import the data into the HSS data table, set mappings and audio/visual output settings, and produce multimodal graphs. We will learn how to export various output formats. Once the basics have been mastered, we will connect to a Google sheet as the data source. If time permits, we will also explore Highcharts’ built-in javascript capabilities.

Highcharts has teamed up with the Sonification Lab at Georgia Institute of Technology to bring you a free tool for exploring charts and sonification – using sound to visualize data. Based on the ideas in the original Georgia Tech Sonification Sandbox, this new Highcharts Sonification Studio is a more flexible and robust web-based tool for sonification exploration.

Check it out at:

Sonifying Arts

Myounghoon Jeon, Abhraneil Dam, Chihab Nadri, Yeaji Lee, & Hayoun Moon
Mind Music Machine Lab, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, USA

Workshop #3 – Sunday, June 26th 05:30 AEST / 19:30 UTC / 12:30 PM PT

This workshop aims to discuss and explore sonifications of non-task-oriented entities or arts with a focus on emotional and affective approaches. There has been much research on translating visual materials into sound and speech for both visually impaired people and sighted people. Efforts have been made for indoor/outdoor wayfinding, computers and mobile systems, and educational technologies. These have focused on task-oriented purposes with the traditional information processing paradigm. The present workshop will lead to forming a new sonification-art or art-sonification community within the ICAD community and experiment new sonification methods.

We have several objectives:

  • Provide a systematic framework about the topic of what, how, why, for whom to sonify various artworks
  • Build and nurture a new community that bridges the sonification and ICAD community with the art community
  • Discuss and explore new ideas and approaches
  • Suggest potential directions for future transdisciplinary collaborations
  • Yield immediate and long-term community-, research-, and design- guidance products

To this end, we invite researchers, students, and art practitioners from all backgrounds, who are interested in sonification and (interactive) arts. We will particularly focus on our theme; how sounds can contribute to audiences/visitors’ diverse experiences. Achieving these goals will provide an opportunity to move this integrated field forward and (re)build a solid community that includes ICAD.