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Re: Practice Describing Pictures, anyone game?

From: <peter.b.l.meijer@philips.com>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 1999 10:26:58 +0100
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <0056890007034248000002L982*@MHS>
Bruce wrote

> Anything but the simplest geometric shapes was just noise to me.

That is unavoidable in a general image-to-sound mapping, just like
hearing a foreign language does not seem to make any sense at first. 
Still, I have now added a few more simple shape images to The vOICe 
Sonification Browser web page at


These GIF images can be heard by first activating the sonification
user agent dialog of The vOICe Learning Edition software by pressing
Control U. Next, the above URL can be entered into the dialog, and
pressing "Enter" will then parse the web page for image references
and page links, which you can subsequently individually select and 
activate by again pressing "Enter" from another edit box within the 
same dialog. This procedure may take some getting-used-to, but it
does allow you to hear any images on the web. If you already happen
to know the exact URL of an image, you can also enter that image URL
directly instead of the URL of a web page.

The added example images on the above web page now include several 
variations of squares and circles, but also a photograph of the 
United States Whitehouse. 

The direct URL for this photograph is 


so you can also paste this URL directly into the sonification
dialog to skip the page parsing and image selection procedure.
Obviously, you will now not get the ALT-text description that
you get from the user agent after it has parsed the HTML page.

Can you hear out the six pillars at the center of the Whitehouse

The sky is bright in this photograph, thus adding a high-pitched 
noise to the entire soundscape, while the pillars stand out near 
the center as six very brief noise bursts of somewhat lower pitch. 
Hardly a "real world application", I agree, just an illustration 
of how one can independently access visual information to at least
some extent without a sighted person interpreting things for you.

Best wishes,

Peter Meijer

Soundscapes from The vOICe - Seeing with your Ears!
Received on Wednesday, 24 November 1999 04:27:17 UTC

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