Audiorders: The Sonification of On-Demand — Density

February 3, 2020

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Audiorders: The Sonification of On-Demand — Density

Audiorders: The Sonification of On-Demand — Density

Audiorders: The Sonification of On-Demand — Trends

In the last of our three-part blog series on Audio Orders: The Sonification of On-Demand, we’re diving deep into the world of Density. From tracking how many Postmate Fleet in a specific city to the number of restaurants in any given vicinity, we looked at the bigger picture to create an audio-visual experience.

In this final part of our Audio Order project, we take a peek into Postmates across America, how we morph to fit the hourly needs of our users, and how many orders are being fulfilled on a minute-by-minute basis. Because let’s face it, graphs don’t speak to everyone, but music is universal.

Episode 9: Postmate Density

Here, we compared two cities, focusing on how many Postmate fleet members are making deliveries, and how that changes throughout the course of the day.

The cities represented are San Francisco (left audio) and Miami (right audio). The more active Postmates in the area, the louder the sound. The more Postmate Fleet members per square mile, the more distortion.

This is a video best-observed with headphones.

Episode 10: Market Drum Machine

This musical composition shows the number of deliveries happening in three different cities: Los Angeles represented as the hi-hat, Phoenix as the snare, and New York as the kick. The more deliveries happening, the stronger the drum beats.

Episode 11: Sound Map

This piece shows how our deliveries are grouped by longitude — imaging looking at America from its southernmost horizon. Imagine looking at a map of the US as a sound file. As we cross the country, orders play.

Episode 12: Merchant Density

We also looked at how far Postmates need to travel to make a delivery. In other words, this composition shows how densely distributed our merchants are. We compared Los Angeles (in the left ear) to New York (in the right ear). For the best experience, use headphones.

From numbers to art, Audiorders has been a project fueled by a desire to highlight both differences and similarities between cities throughout America. Through the creation of these pieces, we were able to highlight just how unique and how similar our needs and preferences are.

This project would not have been possible without you. From emergency orders for iPhone chargers to late-night ice cream orders, you chose us to fill that request. Whether you’ve used Postmates since 2011, or you just used it for the first time yesterday, thank you.


None of this would have been possible without Product Analyst Lead, Alex Orellana. Alex spearheaded this project, providing us with the perfect balance of science and art.

“I wanted to find a way to take a step back and really highlight just how human our data really is.”

For a deeper dive into the inner workings of this project directly from Alex himself, please see the links below:

Density — Market Drum Machine

Density — Postmate Density

Density — Merchant Density

Density — Sound Map

Engineering

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Density — Market Drum Machine

After making the atonal cacophony that was the Regions piece [link to it], I decided to try to set things up in a way that would result in something a bit more accessible. An electronic drum kit seemed like a pretty good place to start.

February 3, 2020