Very few people are synesthetes; researchers in the field of neuroscience estimate less than 4 percent of the population has some form of entwined senses. But, even though synesthesia is rare, interest in this neurological phenomenon is rapidly expanding. Currently, there are numerous scientific and creative endeavors that try to convey the experience of synesthesia for those who don’t have the condition.
I’m intrigued by the idea of helping non-synesthetes feel what it’s like to have conflated senses. My most recent writing project is an attempt to engage urban hikers in synesthetic perception as they explore one of San Francisco’s most iconic neighborhoods. Syn City SF: The Haight Ashbury was created via the VoiceMap platform, which utilizes a mobile app for iPhone and Android devices. When the app is activated, VoiceMap uses one’s location to play an audio tour. VoiceMap journeys are created by writers, journalists, and passionate locals so that you can experience the selected walk from a uniquely informed perspective. VoiceMap is location aware, and coordinates with your phone’s GPS to play content automatically; it also includes helpful offline maps and additional resources. Just put on your headphones and you’re ready to explore!
I’m delighted to have the VoiceMap I created, Syn City SF: The Haight Ashbury, available via https://voicemap.me Take a hike!