Conscape | Mapping Berlin’s Live Music Scene
Conscape | Mapping Berlin’s Live Music Scene
Conscape | Mapping Berlin’s Live Music Scene

Conscape | Mapping Berlin’s Live Music Scene

June 2011

Berlin is the best place for live music in Germany. But Berlin is also a huge city and finding your way around can be difficult. You try to find the clubs that play music you like. But you might also want to know where the big clubs are, or what areas are good for certain kinds of music. Then, once you find what you are looking for, you will want to know what else you can do there before and after the gig.

Conscape is a multi-touch application that visualizes 5 years of Berlin’s live music scene on an interactive map. Users can travel through time and see where what kind of music is played. You can browse all of Berlin’s gigs and how many people attended them. You can also spot trends over time, and surprisingly, you’ll learn contrary to popular belief, it’s not all electro all the time.

The class “Urbane Ebenen” by Till Nagel was all about interactive maps on multi-touch hardware. Florian Schulz teamed up with Jeremias and Julian to work on the topic of music.

They wanted to explore the music scene in Berlin using data from Last.fm. Their demographics are limited, but in the context of our class, that was okay with them. They mapped the number of visitors for each event to the corresponding locations on a dynamic map served by OpenStreetMap. You can then see the events, how many people went there and the genres that have been popular.

Besides technical hacks to get ModestMaps working with the multi-touch framework OpenExhibits, they developed the interactive timeline tool that would enable us to define a time range with a zoom gesture. Each bar represents a day with its height showing the number of events on that day which would reveal interesting patterns. Initially all data from 2006 to 2011 is displayed. When you zoom into the timeline you can narrow it down to certain months or weeks. The left and right borders are the first and last dates that are visualized on the map. You can then drag the timeline to travel through the history of concerts in Berlin.

A similar interactive timeline is used by Google Finance, but because they have no mouse and no precise sliders and didn’t want to duplicate timelines, they have developed their own solution that they haven’t seen anywhere else so far.

They talked about Conscape at Design Meets Data. They explained their design process and showed what did and didn’t work. Oh, and they uploaded their slides.