Here's a quick idea inspired by a bit of my conversation with Matt Edgar whom I met this morning thanks to a twitter shout out from @Deirdre.
We were talking about mobile apps like instagram and the problem with them being tightly coupled, so you can't easily get at bits of the data, and link to them or do very much else really. And Matt brought up PICLE which (on Android please!) allows you to capture a clip of sound. And we were also talking about (not) seeing the olympic flame come through Bradford and Leeds yesterday, and that led us onto the subject of analysing the sound of crowds cheering. It was that kind of conversation, we are that kind of person.
And I thought – wouldn't it (have) be(en) interesting to take a sample of the sound of crowds cheering the Olympic Torch at each of the locations where large crowds have gathered and then see whether you could detect any regional variation as the torch moved around the UK. Would it sound different in the North than in the South. How about in the North West compared to the North East – would you be able to tell a Geordie crowd from the Cockney geezers and geezettes of the East End? Or would it all sound the same?
I'm pretty sure the BBC has been covering all the events – how would we get someone there to compile an audio collage? How much would you need in each clip? How long would the whole thing be? How would you describe the differences even if you could distinguish them?
It's one of those things where you really don't know whether it would work or not until you try. What's one of those things called?