SoundOfTheCity - Continuous noise monitoring for a healthy city

L. Ruge, B. Altakrouri, A. Schrader


Noise pollution is among the leading causes for illness among urban residents. It constitutes a major cause for stress and poor sleep, it reduces life quality while increasing the risk for hypertension, hearing loss and lower cognitive performance. In light of those risks, the European Union mandates the creation of noise contour maps to gather information about the exposure. Those maps however often lack enough granularity to cover all areas of the city and omit large areas from the map. Hence, the public benefit from the provided information remains limited. We present SoundOfTheCity, a project with which we endeavour to put noise measurement into the hand of the citizen. To that end we developed a smart phone application that allows the users to continuously measure the loudness of their environment. The measured data are anonymised and send to a central server where all generated information from voluntary participants on a city scale are aggregated and mapped to a meaningful noise visualisation map. Moreover, the application allows for uploading sound samples, captured from the environment, as well as providing each user with information on their personal exposure to noise. Extrapolating from the current state of such participatory ambient pollution monitoring for health, we propose several questions on the future of such applications. We discuss how such systems may utilize more then just information on the distribution of pollutants, to make health monitoring more relatable to the monitored community.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2013 IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications Workshops (PERCOM Workshops)
Number of pages6
Place of PublicationSan Diego, CA, USA
Publication date01.03.2013
Article number6529577
ISBN (Print)978-1-4673-5075-4
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4673-5077-8
Publication statusPublished - 01.03.2013
Event2013 IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications Workshops - San Diego, United States
Duration: 18.03.201322.03.2013


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