Ohio is still a piano

In a hundred years, no one will remember our work. Strike that, make it about five years. Digital, web-based work can break or disappear in an instant. I’ve certainly done some things which are now gone forever.

Anyway, one broken thing was the crazy Ohio piano map I made nearly seven years ago, in which counties of Ohio were represented by the sounds of piano keys, and data became music of sorts. Actually, it’s not entirely broken; the sounds and most interactions work, just with a big, persistent gray error because Google Maps for Flash is no longer a thing.


Professor Robert Roth insists that this ridiculous map is vital to the teaching of cartography, and who am I to stand in the way of education? So I dug up the old laptop that had the only copy of the Flash map’s source code and set about recreating the map in more modern HTML and JavaScript. It doesn’t have everything the old map has, but hey, it works. Bonus: now the code can actually be seen, on GitHub.

It definitely does not work on mobile devices because playing audio elements on mobile is complicated and I don’t care enough, but if you’re on a desktop computer, here you go. Don’t touch this if you’re in a library or something without headphones. You’ll be embarrassed.


  1. This is brilliant.

    Mike Smith
    8 March 2016 @ 4:03pm

  2. You already know how much I love this map. I’m so happy to see you didn’t let it fall by the technological wayside!

    Mike Boruta
    9 March 2016 @ 12:52pm

  3. Thanks Andy, this is a very nice example of, as we call it, a 4D/5D map (time/sound included). For touristic reasons this is an interesting mapping “design”; people can walk a scenery route while following a piece of music.

    Peter Weenink
    25 March 2016 @ 10:43am