Taking Wikipedia’s Pulse, Musically

What do changes to Wikipedia sound like? Well, if you track all edits — which are currently pushing about 400 per minute — and mapped them to Open Sound Control, Pure Data and wikibeat, you come out with some modernist beats.

Watch the above screencast by wikibeat creator Dan Chudnov as he does just this. The audio kicks in about a minute into the video.

As Chudnov describes it, “wikibeat sonifies changes to wikipedia as they happen. it uses Ed Summers’ wikipulse, which monitors changes to each language-specific wikipedia and displays their rates of change as gauges, and creates a series of audible beats based on these change rates. it does this by sending the change rate information to a Pure Data application over OSC.”

Read through for links to source code to try it on your own.

H/T: Dario Taraborelli, Senior Research Analyst at the Wikimedia Foundation who we interviewed in January (podcast).

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