Imagine a spinning globe showing the location of thousands of radio stations, each one accessible via a simple click on its representative green dot.
Well, thanks to some excellent work by interactive design firms Studio Puckey and Moniker, such a feature now exists online, and we guarantee you’ll quickly become lost in all it has to offer.
Brought to our attention by The Atlantic, Radio Garden is a desktop and mobile app made in partnership with the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. It’s a fabulously unique creation that allows radio fans to dip into regional life across the world as each station broadcasts live to their respective communities around the clock.
While plenty of radio apps allow you to search stations by country, Radio Garden, with satellite imagery supplied by Bing, offers a much more immersive experience as fun as it is fascinating. And all of the streams actually work.
“By bringing distant voices close, radio connects people and places,” the team says on its website. “Radio Garden allows listeners to explore processes of broadcasting and hearing identities across the entire globe.”
The Live section of the site, featuring a plethora of stations across numerous nations, prompts listeners to “tune into any place on the globe,” and asks, “What sounds familiar? What sounds foreign? Where would you like to travel and what sounds like ‘home’?”
At the current time, there are more stations showing for the U.S. and Europe than Asia and Africa, though hopefully the team behind the site has plans to add more over time.
Radio Garden also offers a History tab where you can tune into clips from the past, though admittedly there isn’t much content available at this early stage.
There’s a Jingles tab, too, offering what the team calls “a worldwide crash course in station identification.”
And finally, you’ll find Stories where listeners offer personal accounts of their experiences with radio.
But it’s the Live section where Radio Garden really blooms. You’ll have fun just spinning the globe, your curiosity sending you to faraway lands to check out what locals are listening to on their radios, in their communities, in real time. You can try Radio Garden here.