menu

Citizen Scientists Work Together To Reduce City Noise

Citizen Scientists Work Together To Reduce City Noise
Cities

Locals target harmful noise pollution using their smartphones as sensors

Ross Brooks
  • 4 june 2014

Noise pollution doesn’t get as much attention as the other more pressing pollutants, but it’s still a problem. Too much noise can cause health issues such as stress and hypertension, sleeping disorders, and even disrupt local ecosystems. Instead of waiting for governments to do something, it’s possible to help solve the problem with an app called NoiseTube. Developed in France and Belgium, the app lets users record and map noise in their neighborhood, which can help target problem areas, and supply the necessary information to make changes.

The problem NoiseTube addresses is that governments don’t have the resources to distribute sensors across a city for long periods of time. Smartphones provide the necessary technology, while app users become the sensors needed to build a detailed map of the city and its noise pollution problems. Depending on uptake, the network could be used to supplement government efforts, or maybe even replace them altogether.

noisetube-noise-pollution-app-2.jpg

The app is available for both Android and iOS, which can be accessed on- or offline. While connected to the Internet, just open the app and it will automatically upload sound data collected while walking around. The only difference for offline mode is that you have to manually upload the data collected at a later date. You can also add manual comments in either mode, maybe to highlight a specific source of noise pollution should you want to use it as evidence later.

Instead of wasting time trying to convince governments of their importance, the creation of apps that turn smartphones into sensors might be a more immediate solution to problems like noise pollution. This would empower citizens to take action on the things that effect them regularly, as opposed to waiting years for a solution from the city.

noisetube-noise-pollution-app-1.jpg

It’s not just smartphones that can used as sensors either, one scientist used umbrellas as weather sensors earlier this year to try and collect more weather data in order to prevent urban flooding and other weather-related disasters.

NoiseTube

[h/t] FastCoExist

Images by NoiseTube and Werner Wittersheim

Cities
Trending

DIY Kit Lets You Build Your Own Wooden Bike, Boat Or Caravan

Design & Architecture
Culture Yesterday

Messaging Add-On Helps You Correct Your Friends’ Bad Grammar

An iMessage sticker pack will help you copyedit text messages

Automotive Yesterday

Mercedes-Benz Introduces A New Electric Mobility Brand

The separate entity aims to simplify the identification of Mercedes EV products to customers

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Mobile Yesterday

Tinder’s New Feature Makes Swiping A Group Effort

The dating app wants to democratize its gestural interaction by buying in to the social polling trend pervasive among millennials

Related Expert

Pablo Slough

Mobile Advertising

Syndicated Yesterday

Autonomous Garbage Drone Prevents Trash From Reaching Deep Ocean

The solar-powered WasteShark collects refuse closer to the source: the harbor

Automotive Yesterday

Aston Martin Reveals Its Own Luxury Powerboat

The sleek AM37 echoes styling elements from the British brand's sports cars

Advertising Yesterday

An Escort Website Fights Violence Against Sex Workers

The advocacy campaign from McCann aims uncover the human toll of the exploitative industry

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed september 29, 2016

Digital Design Expert: Mobile First Is Dead, Think Mobile Native

Brian Cooper, chief creative officer of OLIVER Group UK, explains how some brands are still playing catch-up to new technology

PSFK Labs september 29, 2016

The 10 Steps To Discover, Hire, Develop Your Next Leader

PSFK's Future of Work report outlines key steps in the employee development path to empower next-gen leaders

Culture Yesterday

LIFE Magazine Relaunches In Pure VR

The general interest periodical, which ceased publication in 2000, has turned into a portal for virtual reality content

Mobile Yesterday

Reorder This Detox Drink With A Simple Text Message

Dirty Lemon is streamlining its communication by letting customers place orders, ask product questions and request help exclusively through chat

Op-Ed Yesterday

The Future Of The American Workforce Requires Unbundling College Education

President of JetBlue Technology Ventures: developing corporate education programs for non-traditional students

Retail Yesterday

Gilt’s Pop-Up House Is The Kind Of Store You’ll Want To Live In

The New York City townhouse plays host to the latest in retail inspiration, curation, and lifestyle activation (and some libations, too)

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Mobile Yesterday

Registering To Vote Is Now Just A Text Away

A new bot aims to mobilize underrepresented groups this election season through SMS and Facebook Messenger

Africa Yesterday

Virtual Reality Game Gives Lessons About Emergency Birth Care

LIFE is a serious tool that takes advantage of new technology to help save lives

Luxury Yesterday

Shoe Repair Has Moved Onto Your Phone

Cobbler Concierge is an on-demand service to get your footwear fixed online

No search results found.