If you’ve been at SXSW since it began last week, you may be looking for a place to regroup by now. But for those that still want to be in the center of the action at Austin, Y&R New York and sibling innovations unit Y&R Moonshop have unveiled a new Twitter-fed buzz tracking device called Social Soundscape.
It’s not an app. Instead, users go to socialsoundscape.com, where Twitter feeds appear on a map of Austin as a series of musical sounds (from afar it sounds like New Age music) and visually as a giant audio-graphic equalizer.
During SXSW, geotagged tweets will be represented visually as green and blue pins plotted across a digital map of the main section of Austin where SXSW takes place. As the volume and intensity of Twitter activity heat up, the pins will grow taller and deeper in hue, and the musical sounds attributed to those areas on the map will play louder and faster. The more areas of SXSW that light up from tweets, the more types of musical sounds will be heard playing at once.
Users can zoom in on the map, and click on specific tweets to find out what the social chatter is about. For SXSW attendees, they can then decide whether to check out the events drumming up all the tweets.
But be forewarned, the developers say Soundscape works best with the following devices: iPad2, iPad, iPad Mini, Galaxy Tab; iPhone5, iPhone4s, Samsung S3 and Samsung S4. And Google Chrome is the recommended browser. (UPDATE: As of March 13, the developers say Soundscape works across just about all Apple/PCs, tablets and mobile phones using Chrome, Safari or Firefox browsers).
Interactive production shop Stinkdigital gets a “powered by” credit. Sound producer Dinahmoe helped translate the Twitter feeds to musical notes.