Cartographer Andy Woodruff recently posted a neat little musical Flash toy at his site, Ohio is a piano, that takes advantage of the match between Ohio’s 88 counties and the 88 keys on a piano. From his explanation:
How the keys are mapped to the counties depends on a specified data attribute: the notes and counties are ordered by that attribute and then linked to one another. For example, if the chosen attribute is population, the county with the lowest population is assigned the lowest-frequency piano key, the county with the highest population is assigned the highest-frequency piano key, and so on…In my experience, most of it sounds like crap, apart from the provided simplified bits of actual songs of course. But I would be very interested to hear if anyone discovers any patterns that sound decent.
I think he’s being modest with that last part. It’s a simple concept, sure, but he turned into a fun little toy, and the execution opens up interesting possibilities. Among other things, each multi-county metro area becomes a different chord, and he lets you play with the data in different ways – e.g., hearing a route between different cities. I like using the mouseover option at the top and then creating spare strings of notes, with the occasional Toledo or Dayton-Springfield chord thrown in for flavor. [via Metafilter]