Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Developing the New Zealand Soundmap: An exploration of soundmap practice, site listening, locative media and the sound environment

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posted on 2021-11-14, 12:15 authored by Keys, Richard Benjamin

This text is an exegesis written in accompaniment to the development of the New Zealand Soundmap. The origin and development of soundmap practice and the emergence and development of related environmental sound practices are detailed. The exegesis concludes with an exposition of the development of the New Zealand Soundmap itself.  Soundmap practice emerged from the sonic explorations of the World Soundscape Project, who coming out of Simon Fraser University of Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, pioneered the first soundmaps in the early 1970’s.  From its origins soundmap practice has spread and developed into its current form as a new media practice. This thesis deals with the development of a regional web-based soundmap for New Zealand.  Various discursive strains from media studies, sonic arts, and phenomenological philosophy are woven together to explain the impetus, and value of soundmap practice and related environmental sound practices such as soundwalks and site-listening. The thesis ends with a critical analysis of successes and failures of the project towards its stated goal: to facilitate awareness of an engagement with the local sound environment.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Design

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Design


Niemetz, Anne; McKinnon, Dugal