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Conductor: mta.me


Project summary

At www.mta.me, Conductor turns the New York subway system into an interactive string instrument. Using the MTA’s actual subway schedule, the piece begins in realtime by spawning trains which departed in the last minute, then continues accelerating through a 24 hour loop. The visuals are based on Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 diagram.

Subway Details

The piece follows some rules. Every minute, it checks for new trains launched from their end stations. The train then moves towards the end of the line, with its speed set by the schedule’s estimated trip duration. Some decisions were made for musical, aesthetic, and technical reasons, such as fading out routes over time, the gradual time acceleration, and limiting the number of concurrent trains. Also, I used the weekday schedule. Some of these limitations result in subtle variations, as different trains are chosen during each 24-hour loop.

The system has changed since 1972, and some lines no longer exist. For example, the 8 train, or the Third Ave El, was shut down in 1973. The former K train was merged into other routes. I decided to run these ghost trains between 12am-2am.

Developer Details

mta.me is built in HTML5/Javascript. It pulls from the MTA’s public API, which provides a detailed schedule of stops and departure times. (The MTA does not currently track trains’ live positions via GPS.) The design was created in Illustrator, then exported via SVG coordinates into HTML5 Canvas. I built a version with layered HTML5 audio, but ran into many limitations and bugs when layering multi-shot samples. (See this post for details.) so the audio is being triggered by Flash in the background, communicating with JS Sound Manager.

I originally wrote the physical string plucking code for the still-in-progress Crayong project. The strings can be grabbed and pulled at various distances along its length. It’s a little engine I plan to use for a lot of future projects. Planning a detailed post and video on how it works.

Music

Length determines pitch, with longer strings playing lower notes. When a string is in the middle of being drawn by a subway car, its pitch is continually shifting. The sounds are cello pizzicato from the wonderful freesound.org, a set recorded by corsica_s. A complete chromatic scale was too dissonant. Ultimately I settled on a simple major C scale but with the lowest note as a raised third E, which keeps it from ever feeling fully resolved.

178 comments on ‘Conductor: mta.me’

  1. [...] diagram.” This is only a capture you can see it conductor live here while more about this here ! Simply genial // [...]

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Erika Johansson and Erika Johansson, Alexander Chen. Alexander Chen said: @johnpavlus John – You asked me to drop a line. Subway piece is live at http://www.mta.me. Info at this blog post: http://bit.ly/fLHUzz [...]

  3. [...] engineer Alexander Chen has converted live data from the NYC subway schedule into an online “stringed [...]

  4. Scott says:

    Nice! One thing I’d add – use soundManager.wmode = ‘transparent’; to effectively make the SWF invisible. (Why this isn’t the default is a somewhat-convoluted, bug-ridden story.)

  5. BWGunner says:

    For extra variety I’ve enjoyed running it in 2 or 3 tabs simultaneously. It becomes very Eastern and random, with even more frenzy to counterpoint the moments of lull.

    Overall a brilliant piece that really deserves to be a major installation somewhere.

    Hmmmm…

    • The Fake Santa Claus says:

      Thanks to your boss suggestion, I opened up 3 tabs and I haven’t felt like turning my iTunes back on again because the entropic free jazz strumming is so bewitching! Sweetness on top of sweetness. Spreading the word on this joint.

    • Dan says:

      Nice – one was good, two is better. Three tabs? Perfect!

  6. Brad says:

    Awesome work!

  7. brudy says:

    Seriously cool work. It could be even more awesome if it built over maybe a grayed out or faded version of the map.

  8. [...] (2011) by Alexander Chen. Video capture. View live at: [...]

  9. mark says:

    You’ve inspired me to do a personal project or two with HTML5.

    Very well done!

  10. nnyc says:

    Beautiful idea and execution.

    The mta should have this as installations in a bunch of stations. They could use some favorable customer impressions haha.

  11. [...] Conductor was created using HTML5, Flash and JavaScript. More information on Alexander Chen’s Conductor. [...]

  12. [...] Wie genau das funktioniert, wird hier erklärt. [...]

  13. [...] describes his project here, and Massimo Vignelli discusses his map in the documentary [...]

  14. Eric says:

    This is an amazing piece of work. We are very jealous.

    +
    Creative School of Thought

  15. Aaron Davis says:

    Nice work! You’re using a 4.01 doctype, you should update it to

  16. [...] GilletteNew York Subway System Music Here are some sights and sounds for your sore ears and eyes. Alex Chen, who works at Google’s Creative Lab in Brooklyn developed an interactive musical instrument [...]

  17. [...] Chen’s Conductor, which is hosted at MTA.me, is an animated map of the NYC subway. Fed with departure data from the [...]

  18. [...] data to track train departures, ‘Conductor’ creates and plucks strings. More info at blog.chenalexander.com/. [via kottke.org] Posted in Code, HTML5, Music | Leave a [...]

  19. I LOVE this! Good work.

  20. [...] can read more on his blog here. [via Gizmodo] Share and [...]

  21. Jeffrey says:

    Very nice

  22. [...] love projects like this. ( via Alexander Chen ) Category: UncategorizedTags: [...]

  23. Bas Dirks says:

    Great balance of the precise and the accidental. Nice piece.

  24. [...] Brooklynite, musician and Google Creative Labs employee Alexander Chen has created a little HTML5/Javascript art project that is sure to put a smile on your face next [...]

  25. dave says:

    epic! i love it. you should have a show–make an installation in a darkened room.

  26. [...] engineer Alexander Chen created an HTML5 site using a NYC subway map. A musical note plays when lines intersect or when you [...]

  27. Fang says:

    I saw this on Gizmodo…really nice work. Reblogged on fangfoundthis.com here:
    http://fangfoundthis.com/?p=1507

  28. cody says:

    this makes me like ny just a little bit more than I already do. can you do one for sfmuni?…that would be like the john cage meets sun ra album.

  29. h incredible and ingenious innovative like a body pulse into the mind of a human this is how music should be interpreted

  30. [...] Brooklynite, musician &#1072n&#1281 Google Creative Labs employee Alexander Chen h&#1072&#1109 m&#1072&#1281&#1077 a small HTML5/Javascript art project th&#1072t &#1110&#1109 sure [...]

  31. [...] the coolest thing related to the NYC subway map I’ve seen in a long time. Check out the full project page to learn [...]

  32. km says:

    So lovely!

  33. [...] Brooklynite, musician and Google Creative Labs employee Alexander Chen has created a little HTML5/Javascript art project that is sure to put a smile on your face next [...]

  34. [...] According to Chen, “The piece follows some rules. Every minute, it checks for new trains launched from their end stations. The train then moves towards the end of the line, with its speed set by the schedule’s estimated trip duration. Some decisions were made for musical, aesthetic, and technical reasons, such as fading out routes over time, the gradual time acceleration, and limiting the number of concurrent trains. Also, I used the weekday schedule. Some of these limitations result in subtle variations, as different trains are chosen during each 24-hour loop.” [...]

  35. Kent says:

    Wow….fantastic. It is a work of art. Makes me wish I had a computer screen wall so i could use it as a real life wallpaper.

    A screensaver would be nice atm though.

  36. Azhar says:

    Fantastic idea/project, stellar execution.

  37. [...] bom senso, apesar de amar o Bruce Willis). Na verdade, o que acontece é que um programador chamado Alexander Chen criou um site, o Conductor MTA que rastreia todas as linhas de metrô de Nova York, mesmo as [...]

  38. [...] Brooklynite, musician and Google Creative Labs employee Alexander Chen has created a little HTML5/Javascript art project that is sure to put a smile on your face next [...]

  39. [...] Brooklynite, musician and Google Creative Labs employee Alexander Chen has created a little HTML5/Javascript art project that is sure to put a smile on your face next [...]

  40. [...] public API with some clever Javascript, vector graphics (SVG), HTML5 and a dash of Flash, according to a post on his blog. Layered on top of this technical achivement are some pleasing artistic decisions: The passage of [...]

  41. Paul says:

    This is really cool.

    Is there any way that you make this into a screensaver?

    • Kent says:

      I figured it out on Mac, you can use Websaver to set a website as a screensaver. I tried it and it works pretty well.

  42. [...] my post on interactive music videos from a couple days ago? Well, in the same vein, I came across Alexander Chen‘s artistic depiction of the New York subway system. At http://www.mta.me, Conductor turns the New [...]

  43. A. Lunatic says:

    If you had ridership figures per train per hour you could make the traces thinner or thicker denoting less or more passenger volume thus lowering the note.

  44. [...] More details at: blog.chenalexander.com/​2011/​conductor-mta/ [...]

  45. Lisa Wiseman says:

    This is elegant and beautiful. A perfect harmony of technology and art. Bravo.

  46. Stunning piece of work. Congratulations Alexander

  47. [...] Netz (bspw. hier sehr schön). Doch sind sie alle recht (k)eintönig. Diesen Missstand begegnet nun Alexander Chen mit seinem Projekt »Conductor: mta.me«. Er hat die New Yorker Netzspinne aus dem Jahr 1972 von [...]

  48. ABH says:

    wonderful

  49. [...] Conductor, New York metro sistemini interaktif ip şeklinde bir enstrümana çeviriyor. MTA’in (yazının devamında görseli var) gerçek metro programını kullanan Conductor’ı şuradaki linkte eş zamanlı olarak seyredebilirsiniz. [...]

  50. cappuccina says:

    This is fantastic and unbelievably creative! As the mother of a son who plays the doublebass, and a fan of the NYC subway (My husband and my mom are both originally from Brooklyn), this makes me smile every time I hear it!I love the sound and the visual aspect as well; you have done something wonderful here!

    I am sending it to my son and all of his orchestra buddies. :-)

  51. [...] QUI invece trovate maggiori info sul progetto. Creatività, Idee, Tecnologie Alexander Chen, conductor, metropolitana (11), new york (48), New york City (10), strumento (3), suonare (2) Share Tweet Vote TinyUrl Effettuare il login per lasciare un commento [...]

  52. [...] Conductor (2011) by Alexander Chen. Video capture. View live at: mta.me Conductor turns the New York subway system into an interactive string instrument. Using the MTA’s actual subway schedule, the piece begins in realtime by spawning trains which departed in the last minute, then continues accelerating through a 24 hour loop. The visuals are based on Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 diagram. Filed under: art — by adafruit, posted February 1, 2011 at 8:28 am Comments (0) [...]

  53. [...] Other subtle-but-delightful design touches: the length of the train line dynamically determines its pitch when plucked, and the white background fades to black as the 24-hour train cycle makes its way from day to night. Chen even added historical easter eggs for eagle-eyed transit buffs: “The 8 train, or the Third Ave El, was shut down in 1973. The former K train was merged into other routes. I decided to run these ghost trains between 12am-2am,” he says in his blog. [...]

  54. Kyle says:

    Shouldn’t the pitch bend downward if the ‘string’ is getting longer as it is plucked, instead of staying constant? Like doing a slide on a guitar.

  55. [...] Alexander Chen » Archive » Conductor: mta.me New York subway system as an interactive string instrument (Brilliant) [...]

  56. redangelari says:

    [...] More details at: blog.chenalexander.com/​2011/​conductor-mta/ [...]

  57. [...] sino visitar la web donde está el “instrumento”, su blog donde se encuentra el post al respecto. ¿Te ha gustado? [...]

  58. [...] When I think of riding the subway in New York, the only sound I can hear is that loud shriek of a train pulling into the station. But Alexander Chen sees the whole operation as a stringed instrument for his short video, Conductor. “Conductor turns the New York subway system into an interactive string instrument. Using the MTA’s actual subway schedule, the piece begins in realtime by spawning trains which departed in the last minute, then continues accelerating through a 24 hour loop. The visuals are based on Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 diagram,” he writes. [...]

  59. [...] here to see the visualization in action Created by Alexander Chen, a Brooklyn based member of the Google Creative Lab [...]

  60. [...] Plus d’infos ici [...]

  61. agnes says:

    memorizing and soothing….wish this was an android app I could download…….

  62. Alex says:

    I would love to hear a version using the total chromatic collection. One person’s “too dissonant” is another person’s “bracing and exciting.”

  63. Conductor says:

    [...] Created by: Alexander Chen. [...]

  64. [...] instrument, see it live here… beautiful and fascinating, read more about it form the maker alexander chen m / 02-02-2011 09:15 – tags: inspiration, online [...]

  65. [...] when you combine the potential of HTML5 with Massimo Vignelli’s famous subway map? Thanks to Alexander Chen, you arrive [...]

  66. [...] A clever project that “turns the New York subway system into an interactive string instrument. Using the MTA’s actual subway schedule, the piece begins in realtime by spawning trains which departed in the last minute, then continues accelerating through a 24 hour loop. The visuals are based on Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 diagram.” Built with HTML5 and JavaScript. See it in action here and read the project summary here. [...]

  67. [...] Streckenabschnitts abhängig. Auf mta.me könnt ihr das Kunstwerk live und in Vollbild anschauen. Hier findet  ihr noch weitere Informationen über Chens Projekt. Viel Spaß [...]

  68. Conductor | says:

    [...] in HTML5 e Javascript, simula la circolazione della metropolitana di New York. Realizzata da Alexander Chen, musicista ed impiegato presso Google Creative Labs, è un mix di fluidità e suono, un lavoro [...]

  69. [...] View live here: mta.me Alexander Chen is here. [...]

  70. [...] Created by: Alexander Chen. [...]

  71. Very nice ! But I would have loved to see it with actual physical modeling of the string (the sound I mean), and also have the pitch be accurately related with the string length, instead of just using a scale…

  72. [...] Some of the routes have changed. All of the lines fade out over time. But the general idea is that the trains move by the minute according to their schedule over a 24 hour period, and when one crosses over another, it creates a sound, as if each line were a string being plucked. Full description here. [...]

  73. [...] Conductor, es un curioso proyecto de arte creado en HTML5/Javascript por un músico y empleado de Google, Alexander Chen. [...]

  74. Like art and music in public spaces, creating this piece shows what the day to day commute can inspire.

  75. John Hogle says:

    Thanks, Alexander. It’s like a gentle, minimalist version of Iannis Xenakis’s classic Bohor, which was made from the random sounds of jangly bracelets.

    I agree with nnyc. It should be installed in the subway stations.

  76. [...] the NY subway train paths into an online instrument.  The project is found here: MTA.ME.  On Chen’s blog, he explains the making of the online architecture of the subway schedule.  Every minute, it checks [...]

  77. [...] short post to draw your attention to some lovely work by Alexander Chen. Conductor: mta.me pulls subway schedule data from New York City’s [...]

  78. [...] of my favorite recent examples of this is Conductor, which harnesses the NYC subway system and turns it into an interactive string instrument. Using [...]

  79. [...] The work uses HTML5, Javacsript and some Flash for the audio, so you won’t get the full experience on your iDevices. Read more about the how and what in his blogpost. [...]

  80. [...] Alexander Chen conducts music, based on train schedules. Just enjoy it. [...]

  81. [...] Alexander Chen » Archive » Conductor: mta.me. [...]

  82. [...] Alexander Chen turned the NYC subway map into an interactive instrument. Give it a try here and read more about it here. [...]

  83. [...] – MTA string quartet. It’s pretty cryptic and hypnotic. [...]

  84. [...] Alexander Chen di Google Creative Labs ha creato Conductor, un’applicazione che unisce programmazione web e musica in modo interessante e concettuale. Partendo dai dati della MTA, società che gestisce la metropolitana di New York, vengono disegnati i percorsi delle varie linee con velocità calcolata in base alla durata stimata della corsa. Mentre ciò succede, è possibile “pizzicare” le linee facendole suonare come corde di chitarra e producendo così varie note. Una delle reti metropolitane più estese e conosciute del mondo diventa così un pentagramma dinamico ed imprevedibile, proprio come la città che la ospita. [via] 0 [...]

  85. [...] has been making the rounds all week, but it’s too cool not to share. A visual artist named Alexander Chen has created an interactive display, “Conductor,” that turns the lines of the subway [...]

  86. [...] Musical subway map: Clever audio representation of New York public transportation. [...]

  87. [...] Alexander Chen took the timetable for the NYC Subway and turned it into a beautiful and soothing musical piece. Each line begins at its intended origin and follows the classic Massimo Vignelli subway map, creating a distinct plucking string sound as it crosses over another line in the system. [...]

  88. Steve W. says:

    Bravo Alexander! Alfred Beach is smiling…he would be quite proud!

  89. [...] View the live version here, and read the full details of the project on Chen’s blog post on it. [...]

  90. [...] métro harpiste ou harpe métronique ?! … Filed under: Non classé,Wiki-Science,Wiki-Video — Wiki @ 09:17 ShareMi-happening, mi-exercice de style, le projet a été développé en HTML5. Vous pouvez le tester en conditions réelles ici : http://www.mta.me/ http://www.mta.me/Toutes les explications sur le blog de l’auteur : http://blog.chenalexander.com/2011/conductor-mta/ [...]

  91. [...] system comes alive with HTML5 & Javascript – Conducted by Google Creative Labs employee  Alexander Chen If you live in New York City, you most likely have a love/hate relationship with the subway (one [...]

  92. [...] For more information check out his blog [...]

  93. [...] site is created by Brooklyn resident Alexander Chen who describes the how he did it on his blog. There are also some great suggestions from the comments section (ha, imagine that, a constructive [...]

  94. [...] can read the details about how Conductor operates on Chen’s blog, but the basic idea is that it looks for trains that have departed in the past minute, and then [...]

  95. [...] Alexander Chen fue contratado por Google y Creative Labs para crear una aplicación sencilla, basada en HTML5 y Javascript, esta aplicación simula el metro en el área metropolitana de Nueva York en nuestro monitor. [...]

  96. [...] Gawker.com’s The Subway Reborn as an Awesome Cello highlights the work of Brooklyn resident Alexander Chen who built a melodic webpage that represents New York subway lines as ever-growing strings that are [...]

  97. [...] Alexander Chen » Conductor: mta.me. [...]

  98. [...] “Conductor turns the New York subway system into an interactive string instrument. Using the MTA’s actual subway schedule, the piece begins in realtime by spawning trains which departed in the last minute, then continues accelerating through a 24 hour loop”. You can see on live here. [...]

  99. [...] And, as a bit of a tech-nerd, I feel the need to commend him on his impressive use of HTML5 Canvas. As early examples of how to best use this new medium go, you could do worse. For more info on Chen’s inspiration and how he built the site, check out his blog. [...]

  100. [...] Via Monday, February 7th, 2011 Illustration [...]

  101. [...] site is created by Brooklyn resident Alexander Chen who describes the how he did it on his blog. There are also some great suggestions from the comments section (ha, imagine that, a constructive [...]

  102. [...] Alexander Chen hat sich auf mta.me vom 1972 erstellten Netzplan des italinischen Designers Massiomo Vignellis inspirieren lassen. Basierend auf der Startzeit der Züge an der Endstation und der Fahrtzeit zum Zielbahnhof der Linie, kreuzen sich die unterschiedlichen Linien an bestimmten Punkten, welche den Netzplan zu einem interaktiven Zupfinstrument verwandeln. Die Töne erzeugen sich zum einen an den Schnittpunkten, andererseits lassen sich die Linien auch manuell zupfen. Viel Spaß beim Ausprobieren! [...]

  103. Daniel says:

    Great experiment…

    Congratulations ;-)

    Dn.

  104. [...] Imagine that the  lines of the New-York subway system became the strings of a cello plucked by the crossing trains  ? You would have the musical map of Alexander Chen. [...]

  105. [...] NYC Metro gets its on Orchestra? Hello there! If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.Alexander Chen just released what his newest project titled ‘Conductor‘. [...]

  106. [...] is an informing treat for the ears and the eyes (based on Massimo Vignelli’s subway diagram). Programmer Alexander Cheng had initially made a simple string-plucking script, but took the project to a new level when he had [...]

  107. [...] Alexander Chen decided to make the New York City subway system into a giant stringed instrument. The result [...]

  108. [...] ga ik mij niet uitspreken, want daarvan ken ik niets. Maar mocht het je interesseren dan is er hier meer uitleg over. Verwante schrijfsels: Een spontaan concertje in de Parijse metro. Geobsedeerd door de [...]

  109. [...] ou « Comment rendre le métro relaxant ». Plus d’info: http://blog.chenalexander.com/2011/conductor-mta/ Et un extrait vidéo: http://www.vimeo.com/19372180 Ca me fait penser à tous ces T-Shirts [...]

  110. [...] Acabei de ver esse projeto do A.Chen no ChromeExperiments e já virei fã do cara. O Conductor é um sistema interativo conectado á malha de linhas do metrô de NYC transformando-o em um [...]

  111. caro_m says:

    amazing journey_

  112. [...] more here. « Fashion Art by Daniel Widrig LikeBe the first to like this [...]

  113. [...] details at: blog.chenalexander.com/​2011/​conductor-mta/ Posted on February 18th, 2011 by michael | Categories: Blog | No Comments [...]

  114. [...] Music: Conductor turns the New York subway system into an interactive string instrument. Using the MTA’s actual [...]

  115. Charles says:

    Suggest – add a checkbox (default ON) like
    [ ] Fade
    so if unchecked, the “strings” remain full strength. If re-checked, they fade away as usual.

  116. [...] quello che è venuto in mente ad Alexander Chen, che si è inventato un sistema per far suonare come corde le linee della metropolitana della [...]

  117. [...] Chen’s site: Conductor turns the New York subway system into an interactive string instrument. Using the [...]

  118. [...] Vignelli, už savo tvarinį jau amžiams yra nutūpęs grafikos dizaino Olimpe. Todėls šis A.Chen, darbelis gali pretenduoti nebent į dar vieną odę praeitos kartos dizaineriui. Vis tiek gražu. [...]

  119. [...] Alexander Chen, un musicien de Brooklyn qui ne manque pas d’imagination, a créé ce mta.me, qui utilise le plan du métro new-yorkais. Chaque ligne de cette immense toile d’araignée démarre en fonction des horaires fixés par le Métro de New York. Dès qu’une rencontre se produit  dans cet ensemble à la fois visuel et musical, les « correspondances se mettent à vibrer comme les cordes d’un violoncelle en pizzicato. Cela se poursuit dans les heures qui suivent  et nous offre une symphonie étonnante, baroque, animée… [...]

  120. [...] O apie tvarkaraščio veikimą pasiskaityti čia: http://blog.chenalexander.com/2011/conductor-mta/ [...]

  121. [...] February 27, 2011 Alexander Chen | Conductor: mta.me Posted by elfgirl under Uncategorized Leave a Comment  via blog.chenalexander.com [...]

  122. [...] Alexander Chen from Google Labs has created an interactive musical instrument based on the routes of the New York city subway map (including two ghost trains that no longer run). It begins in real time tracking trains that has departed in the last minute and when the different lines crosses paths a cello pizzicato by corsica_s from freesound.org is played out, one note per crossing. It’s built in HTML5/Javascript with the audio made in Flash with JS Sound Manager. Why We Likey: Looks and sounds great. I could see this working beautifully as a larger installation. Culture: 6:10 Conversation: 7:10 Collaboration: 5/10 Compensation: 7/10 [...]

  123. DartsPlayer says:

    How to launch sounds? I don’t hear any of sound, that the strings make.

    Thnak you for reply. DartsPlayer

  124. [...] provare di persona è possibile farsi una ‘corsa’ su http://www.mta.me, mentre a questo indirizzo è possibile conoscere il dettaglio del progetto in [...]

  125. [...] Short Description from the Composer: “Conductor turns the New York subway system into an interactive string instrument. Using the MTA’s actual subway schedule, the piece begins in realtime by spawning trains which departed in the last minute, then continues accelerating through a 24 hour loop. The visuals are based on Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 diagram.” More can be found on his blog here. Enjoy! [...]

  126. David says:

    Thanks for this! Great stuff!

  127. Livepage says:

    From the first look seems strange and unordinary, remainds some eastern calm music. Beautiful work!

  128. [...] than animated maps? Maps we tend to see most tweeted are things like Alexander Chen’s Conductor: MTA.ME and the OpenStreetMap 2008: A Year of [...]

  129. [...] More details at: blog.chenalexander.com/​2011/​conductor-mta/​ [...]

  130. Julian says:

    I’m not getting any audio.

  131. [...] you visit http://www.mta.me, you’ll discover a fascinating new interactive project developed by Alexander Chen using HTML5 and Javascript. Entitled Conductor, it pulls from the MTA’s public API, which [...]

  132. [...] MTA.me is any indication then DAMN. Using the New York City subway line and realtime information, Alexender Chen has turned the subway map into an interactive instrument; as trains intersect the lines are plucked [...]

  133. [...] a more conceptual project combining transit data and sound, Google designer Alexander Chen’s Conductor project took New York subway lines, animated them, and turned the moving “trains” into a [...]

  134. [...] something else at the moment, but MTA.ME is a really fun project to look at! Alexander Chen, or Conductor, created the visuals of the New York subway system, based on Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 [...]

  135. [...] google engineer Alexander Chen turned Massimo Vignelli’s NYC subway map into music (listen to Vignelli talking about his [...]

  136. dxdingdu says:

    it’s so great!
    can i get your code for researching?

  137. [...] system, using the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s actual subway schedule. Titled, “Conductor,” Chen designed the illustration based on Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 map of the New York City [...]

  138. Scott Meschke says:

    Might I recommend trying it with a pentatonic scale, like D or G pentatonic.

    Pentatonic scales are the most popular worldwide, and one of the those reasons is the lack of dissonance.

    While the term “Pentatonic” could refer to any 5 note scale “The Pentatonic scale” is 1,2,3,5,6 in any major key.

    So for C Major:
    C,D,E,G,A

    or for D Major:
    D,E,F#,A,B

    Pentatonic scales have no half steps (eliminating much of the dissonance, since the standard major scale has 2 half-steps)

    Let me know if you’re interested in trying a different scale.

    OR what would be even cooler is giving a drop-down bar for the user to pick which scale.

    You could give Pentatonic, Octatonic, Diminished scales, Major/Minor, etc.

  139. [...] Conductor (by Alexander Chen) turns the New York subway system into an interactive string instrument. Using the MTA’s actual subway schedule, the piece begins in realtime by spawning trains which departed in the last minute, then continues ac…. [...]

  140. Gerd Jansen says:

    like it very much. Congratulations.

  141. [...] can read more on his blog here. [via Gizmodo] This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the [...]

  142. [...] Blz, aí você acha que é só o vídeo, que já valia o post pq tem um visual lindo, mas o mais divertido da história, é que ele fez um site interativo (na verdade o vídeo nasceu do site). AH! Para se divertir o site é: http://www.mta.me e quem quiser informações detalhadas sobre o projeto veja o blog do autor, o Alexandre Chen. [...]

  143. Christy says:

    This is beautiful! Leave a reply on this article if you love New York http://contributor.yahoo.com/user/1054818/christy_harvey.html

  144. [...] months of listening to plucked string samples and bezier curves for the MTA.ME and Crayong projects, I’ve been itching to find a slightly different field to play in. The [...]

  145. [...] really adequately describe what he showed us, only that his particular brand of genius results in subway maps that sing like a violin, and a future where we may all become moving instruments at the intersection of real and virtual [...]

  146. It is nice to see views that make perception and are effective anyway.

  147. Yoshihiro Kawabata says:

    Awasome !!
    Can you update SoundManager to 2.97a.20110424 ?
    now, Android and iPhone does not sound.

  148. [...] as I think of navigation and the web, I can’t help but think about this wonderful project by Alexander Chen, which is not at all about online navigation, but about using the online medium to give us a new [...]

  149. [...] the live version, and read the full details of the project on Chen’s blog post on [...]

  150. [...] I love this awesome muscial interpretation of the NY Subway system by Alexander Chen.  [...]

  151. [...] can read more on his blog here. [via Gizmodo] This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the [...]

  152. Eleanor Hill says:

    Please make this into a screensaver to make A-level revision more fun!

  153. [...] Oakland-based graphic designer Kenji Liu has recently embarked on a project that puts him in a long line of artists and polititians who have changed place names in San Francisco. In his Decolonized Area Rapid Transit (DART) map, which is based on the official San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station map, Liu has substituted the place names that appear on the BART map with place names that reflect the history of Bay Area native people and progressive political activists. The BART map harkens back to Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 New York subway map, which has itself inspired multiple other works of art, including Alexander Chen’s representation of the map in the form of music: [...]

  154. [...] According to Chen, “The piece follows some rules. Every minute, it checks for new trains launched from their end stations. The train then moves towards the end of the line, with its speed set by the schedule’s estimated trip duration. Some decisions were made for musical, aesthetic, and technical reasons, such as fading out routes over time, the gradual time acceleration, and limiting the number of concurrent trains. Also, I used the weekday schedule. Some of these limitations result in subtle variations, as different trains are chosen during each 24-hour loop.” [...]

  155. [...] 它的开发者Alexander Chen来自Google Creative Labs,也参与了非常受欢迎的Les Paul Google Doodle开发,在早些时候,还开发了一个非常棒的可视化NY地铁系统。 [...]

  156. [...] The New York Subway as Cello Share this: This entry was posted in Cosmology, Design, Economics, Numbers, Storytelling by drwool. Bookmark the permalink. [...]

  157. [...] le domaine artistique, le projet Conductor: MTA.me propose une représentation poétique des mouvements du métro new-yorkais : chaque ligne est une [...]

  158. [...] This interesting demo turns NY’s subway system (called MTA) into a musical string instrument. It gets the data in real-time using the MTA public API and then uses JavaScript, SVG drawn on HTML5 canvas, and the HTML5 audio element for the sounds. Learn more about the conductor project here. [...]

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