Music and Mapping

What do music and mapping have in common? During his Geospatial Keynote at HxGN LIVE, President Mladen Stojic explores a few similarities between the two seemingly unconnected fields.

First, let’s talk about music. Sheet music is like a map of the music, written on a flat, 2D surface. Music begins with a note. By itself, the note makes a single noise, but once you begin to add more notes you have a new sound, a melody.

From notes we go onto chords – multiple notes grouped together and played at the same time. Then we begin to add more instruments into the mix to add new sounds. Finally, we add time. In music, timing is very important. Time can determine the speed at which the music is played or cue in different instruments. All of these pieces come together and allow us to experience the song as intended by the composer.

Finally, we add time. In music, timing is very important. Time determines the speed at which the music is played and when different instruments join the song. All of these pieces come together and allow us to experience the song as intended by the composer.

But how does this all relate to maps? In mapping, as in music, layers, patterns and time all come together to form a new dynamic experience. You can’t look at a map and say that you understand the world, just as you can’t read sheet music and say that you experienced the symphony. Mapping isn’t enough.

Watch more about Mladen’s parallel between Music and Mapping below.

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