Say “Hello-ello-o” to the Echosphere


Photo courtesy John Matzick, My Shot/Your Shot

Let’s face it: Certain words and sounds connect us to specific places and memories.  What would you think if I told you that it is now possible to save a sound and forever link it to an exact place on earth?

World meet Woices.  Woices say hello to approximately 7 billion people just waiting to use you.
Woices is a free internet service that lets individuals create, share, and listen to echoes.  Echoes are audio recordings linked to a specific real-world object or geographical location.  Echoes can be listened to by anyone, as if the person who made the echo was standing there right next to you.

There are no rules about the types of sounds that qualify as echoes; it
can be an informative dialogue about how tall the Washington Monument
is, or a first-person story about that one time a crazed unicyler almost
ran you over at the park. Woices‘ overall goal is to expand reality by
creating a new layer of information in audio format, dubbed the
“echoesphere” by the Woices team, which will make the world a more
“interesting and expressive place.”

Cool educational echoes: Home of

Photo courtesy Faisal Adrian Zeir, My Shot/Your Shot

2011-02-08_1030989.JPGOne echo that I found especially worthwhile was the “Home of” echo
left in Reston, Virginia.  The echo gives
several helpful tips on how Woices can be used by teachers and students
in the classroom to enhance learning.  

One idea is to have students narrate dialogues about places they are
studying at the places themselves.  This could work especially well for
international students who might be able to share echoes with classmates
in their new communities when visiting their native homelands. For
example, a student learning about art history in Spanish class in Maine
could create an echo about Frida Kahlo‘s early childhood in the Coyoacan
boroughs of Mexico City where she was born.  Another thought was to
have students learning about the battles of Lexington and Concord record
the song “The Concord Hymn” by Ralph Waldo Emerson and tag it to the
scene of the battlefield in Massachusetts.  

These suggestions represent just a few of the many ways to connect
sounds with places around the world.  I would also suggest letting
students search for echoes recorded at sites they have visited
previously or places they would like to go to someday.  See what kind of
echoes have been placed near your school or hometown.  Can you find
echoes in other languages?  A song?  A story?  A poem?  A speech? 
Decide what kind of echo is your favorite and record one at a location
that is important to you.  Make your own contribution to the Earth’s
newest and coolest layer of data–the echoesphere!

Becky for My Wonderful World

Photos courtesy of My Shot Your Shot:
John Matzick

5 thoughts on “Say “Hello-ello-o” to the Echosphere

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  2. In a previous response to this comment, I inaccurately stated that My Wonderful World/National Geographic owned the rights to John Matzick’s photo.
    The appropriate explanation is that National Geographic retains a royalty-free, worldwide perpetual license–in connection with National Geographic products–to most photos submitted to My Shot/Your Shot. However, My Shot/Your Shot contributors always retain the copyright to their own photos, and National Geographic downs not have the right to sell them.
    I agreed that John Matzick’s photo should have been more clearly credited in this post, and I made the correction. I sincerely apologize for this error.
    Sarah Jane

  3. Hi John,
    We obtained the photograph through National Geographic’s My Shot/Your Shot database. If you read the fine print on the My Shot/Your Shot upload tool, you will see that once you upload a photo, National Geographic owns all the rights. Since My Wonderful World is a National Geographic property, we are able to use My Shot/Your Shot images freely.
    If you scroll down to the end of the post, you will see that we included a credit for your photo. However, I will add a credit below the photograph itself so that is visible on the front page of the blog post.
    Thanks for your comment and for the use of your photo, and apologies for the confusion about the credit!
    Sarah Jane

  4. The photo at the top of the page is one of mine. Wondering where you got it. You can use this photo but I would like to have a credit attached to it.

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