What's That Sound? Two Tools Track Noise Pollution.

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Nov 24, 2009

From traffic to construction to everyday chatter, noise pollution is a part of city life. But with the ubiquity of mobiles, documenting noise pollution is getting a little bit easier. NoiseTube and LHR NoiseMap are two projects that use mobile phones to record and map instances of noise pollution.

NoiseTube uses crowd-sourcing to monitor noise pollution. Users with GPS-enabled phones can install a free application that measures the noise level wherever they are. Users tag the recordings with a description of the noise, its source, the time of day, and other criteria, and the data is then mapped onto GoogleEarth; in this way participants can use their phones as noise sensors to automatically share information about their city with other members of the community.

The LHR NoiseMap records the sounds of airplanes coming in and out of London’s Heathrow airport, and the effect the noise has on the surrounding neighborhoods. It runs on AudioBoo, an iPhone audio blogging application. On the LHR NoiseMap site, dozens of speaker icons dot a map of the greater London area; click on a speaker and hear the noise caused by airplanes on the runways during landing and take-off. In an interview with MobileActive.org’s Katrin Verclas, LHR NoiseMap developer Ian Tout said, “Noise can be measured, you have a microphone on every phone. You can create an audio map, [with a] crowd-sourced, participatory approach using mobiles and mapping open street maps.”

Both programs aim to measure and map noise pollution through readily-available equipment, and mobiles are a particularly good means of capturing noise pollution because they’re always on hand. However, both programs also face challenges.

NoiseTube currently has 112 users spread over 25 cities, while Trout is mapping the sounds of Heathrow largely on his own. For projects like these that depend on large amounts of information, participation is key. Another challenge is the fact that both programs are smart-phone dependent – LHR NoiseMap contributors need an iPhone to run the application, and NoiseTube contributors must have a smart phone to use the GPS mapping (although developer Nicolas Maisonneuve is in the process of creating a similar SMS-based project so that non-smart phone owners can map noise pollution, too).

Noise pollution is a quality-of-life issue – it can affect sleep and concentration. Noise pollution mapping locates problem areas, but the next challenge is putting the information to use. Knowing that a certain intersection is always noisy in the mornings, or recording low-flying planes at night shows that there is a problem – the next step is to turn the information into action. We’re excited to see where these programs might go in the future, and what sort of effect they may have on local noise levels as citizens are able to quickly and accurately document problem areas.

What's That Sound? Two Tools Track Noise Pollution. data sheet 8396 Views
Countries: Belgium Brazil France Indonesia Italy Netherlands Romania South Korea Switzerland United Kingdom United States

Demo license or free trial of your software for Nois mapping

Dear Sir

I would ne glad to try one of  your software for Noise mapping, is it possible

Can you send me an executable for that purpose


Mohamed MAZIGHI, Algeria 


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><p><br> <b><i><blockquote>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options