Geotagging music to specific places

How much is the experience of music connected to specific locations? One band’s efforts offer a way to link music and places:

Photo by John-Mark Smith on

When it came time to launch “Rand McNally,” the band decided to celebrate its long live history by launching Death Cab for Cutie Map, which directed people to go on a scavenger hunt to find the track. All they had to do was go to one of more than 800 places Death Cab has played, whether the venues were still standing or not. Once there, fans could use their phones to access a geotag that would unlock the track, making the launch a little more fun and experiential than your typical song drop…

Speaking of history, Harmer dreams of a world where this kind of geotagging is available for all of his favorite bands. “It would be cool to be able to go on Apple Maps and search for the old tour routes and histories of The Who or The Beatles,” he says. “Just from a historical perspective, I’d love to be able to see where and when they played. I learned only recently that Led Zeppelin played a concert at Green Lake Park in Seattle. There used to be this little outside amphitheater, and I’d never heard of a show being played there ever, much less a Zeppelin concert. As we start to really explore all the data that’s available to us, that kind of map would be a cool thing to have access to.”

A concert experience is a unique one. It is affected by the venue, the sound system, the audience, and the band or musical act. It is certainly different than listening to music through a radio or a phone or stereo speakers or headphones. Being in a crowd focused on live music can lead to collective effervescence.

My guess is that such geotagging will be most enjoyable for those who attended specific concerts in the past. Going back to the venue and getting a new song combines both reliving the concert experience and building on that with new music. It helps add music and sounds to our full-sensory understanding of places.

I could also imagine a future where playing a specific track could pull up a virtual reality experience of being in the crowd where the artist is performing the particular piece.

One thought on “Geotagging music to specific places

  1. Pingback: One of the joys of Easter: a full sanctuary singing | Legally Sociable

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