@andrew.bernard Thanks for your answer and informed opinion!
I just started up to study and get a deeper sense of what’s involved in the term “sonification”, which I got only a superficial idea on, having encountered it at first with relation to musical and artistic expressions. Just think that in sound design practice we know the term is also simply referred to the practice of adding sound effects or musical comment to a silent media, be it for demoing or production purposes! A mainly aesthetical outcome is also the case of the NASA example, in my opinion; it does surely implies informational content, but the algorythm is simple and it mainly impress us for its pleasant acoustic outcome.
So, your note confirm the impression I tried to express in my brief topic description, that I was missing the dense scientific measure of this field of study. I may say that musical or aesthetical approaches are only a little part or, better, a peculiar, even marginal, application of a discipline that is rooting on solid scientific principles. I can definitely see a big jump in scale and context, when looking at the strict scientific etimology of the term sonification.
Whereas the purely expressive goal tends to simplify the algorithmics and target a direct analogic derivation more or less matching some common listening patterns, I see that the scientific studies are developing an incredible complexity of formal algorhytms (“operators”) and high-formalized analytical interpretations of big data set. Also, I understand that the “sonificated” data try to convey additional and deeper pure informational content, with respect to the same data being interpeted.
At the moment, following the ICAD resources you kindly pointed me to, I have been able to download this “handbook” (it’s 586 pages long!) to get some deeper grasp on the topic. I’ll try to give it a reading… while also having fun with generative experiments with modular music in my little spare time. Real thing is, there are so much fascinating concepts and disciplines in the acoustic realm, and there are already at least as many Rack modules popping up in the meantime…
Thanks again, best!