M. Arikawa, K. Tsuruoka, H. Fujita

Center for Spatial Information Science, The University of Tokyo



This paper proposes a visual map-integrated podcast on mobile audio players. Wikipedia explains that “podcast is a multimedia file that is distributed by subscription (paid or unpaid) over the Internet using syndication feeds, for playback on mobile devices and personal computers. Like 'radio', it can mean both the content and the method of broadcast.” Many people listen to podcast now. One of the characteristics of podcast is easiness for people to create and syndicate podcast content over the Internet. Podcast is also applied to guiding and navigating for walkers in places. The podcast of guiding places is called podwalk. The podwalk content helps walkers appreciate places with audio guides by experts of the places. There may happen some spatial problems in using present podwalk because of no visual maps integrated with it. Listeners of podwalk often face to difficulties in recognizing the correct positions and the directions of their current places with only audio guides. We have researched on integrating podcast and digital visual maps on mobile audio players.


We are developing a map extension of podcast to realize a map-integrated podwalk called mapodwalk for place guide. Mapodwalk consists of a map-sound editor and a map-sound player for binding spatial points and directions of maps to temporal points of audio data with the tags described into RSS files. The editor and player work with a set of audio, a map image and tags. Spatial audio content is defined as audio content bound with spatial objects on maps, and has basic elements such as position, direction, angle of view, scales, speeds, rhythms and paths. All of the elements are projected on maps, and can be accessed and controlled through the maps by listeners of mapodwalk. Authors of mapodwalk content can edit the elements for creating original stories. Listeners listen to realistic audio content with dynamic maps while appreciating real places.


We focus on a new communication tool to integrate audio guides and maps on mobile audio players. Authors can create spatial audio content with maps easily. Listeners can know thoughts and experiences of authors through spatial audio content by interacting with spatial icons on maps. Popularization of mobile audio players will enable us to consume spatial audio content like everyday maps.