Crowdsourced App Helps City Dwellers Locate Quiet Spaces

Crowdsourced App Helps City Dwellers Locate Quiet Spaces

Stereopublic is a TEDPrize-winning 'City 2.0' platform that uses crowdsourcing to map the quiet places in noisy cities.

Kristen Nozell
  • 26 september 2013

Today’s urban jungles can be overwhelming, overstimulating our senses and contributing to the stress of city living. The visual taxation is obvious, but the audio experience of urban environments can be equally draining and stressful. Stereopublic is a mobile app and platform that aims to provide an antidote to this phenomenon, allowing participants to find, document and share their favorite noiseless havens.

Created by Australian composer and sound artist Jason Sweeney along with sound experts Emma Quayle and Julian Treasure, the app is currently available in eighteen cities around the world, with twelve more to be released soon. Geo-location facilitates the process of documentation: ‘earwitnesses’ (as Stereopublic dubs its participants) simply indicate the exact location on the map interface on their mobile device and tag it along with a 30 second recording and image so that others can find the same place. The spot can be tagged with a different color depending on the user’s mood, and an original composition to accompany the quiet space can be requested as well. Participants can also share locations through the website. With the mobile app, users can then ‘tour’ their cities in a new way, discovering havens of tranquility.

The platform may evidence a growing trend of using technology in a communal way to (paradoxically) disconnect; this ‘anti-social’ app is another example.


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