Tree music – generative music deprived from NYC tree census data

I stumbled upon this database containing NYC tree information. over 60,000 trees are documented in this database that includes tree type, diameter, health condition, GPS location and more.

I thought it will be interesting to build an experiment that will sonify the tree information, and to see what types of weird sounds and patterns I could get from different neighborhoods, streets and parks.  

I started building this experiment using Mapbox API as the core element  to visualize the tree instances on a map. with the help of the Mapbox API, I was able to filter, search, and gather information I needed to pass to the auditory aspect of the system – tone.js.

Using tone, I’m sequencing sounds in correlation to a type of tree’s diameter variable from the database. This is then sent to 3 different synthesizers built in tone.js that produce the sound. I am mapping the diameter of the trees to a major C scale over three octaves. And ermined by the amount of trees in the the area. 

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