Help us make a noise map of London

The BrusSense team invites you to noise map London together with us. Please use our free NoiseTube software to measure the sound levels around you, wherever you are and whenever you please. Contributions from the conference area are especially welcomed as they will allow us a more detailed analysis f0r that particular area. The accumulated map (so far empty!) can be viewed here. Note that initial loading may take a bit of time, after that the map is automatically updated every 30 minutes. NoiseTube is available on the Android Market, via the link above for Java ME users, and when you have an iPhone, please do come and find me so that I can pass on the beta iOS version of NoiseTube directly to you (AppStore submission is underway). After installing our app you will be able to measure the level of noise in dB(A) (with a precision a bit lower than a sound level meter), and contribute to collective noise mapping effort by annotating it (tagging, e.g. subjective level of annoyance). This information can be automatically published on this website (3G/GPRS or manually upload on any PC. (Of course in the particular setting of the Citizen Cyberscience Summit many participants will have to upload their noise data manually as they will not have a UKbased mobile phone plan).

This Friday just before the lunch break I will be talking about our recent work on participatory noise mapping campaigns – and how they can be just as good as official noise maps, if you do it properly. In the afternoon the BrusSense team will chair the ‘Noise and the City’ workshop where people interested in this matter are welcome to present themselves, their ideas, projects, software, approaches or tools….and where we will be looking at the collective noise map for London obtained so far and very possibly build it up further. We will also be making plans for the hackfest challenge ‘What can YOU do with noise data?’. We have many ideas already – on extending our open source mobile software or on improving the participatory map making process – but of course we want all of you to contribute some new ideas to our meme pool!!

Here is some context: Noise pollution is a serious problem in many cities. NoiseTube is a research project, started in 2008 at the Sony Computer Science Lab in Paris and currently hosted by the BrusSense Team at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, which proposes a participative approach for monitoring noise pollution by involving the general public. Our software extends mobile phones by turning them into noise sensors, thus enabling citizens to measure the noise they are exposed to in their everyday environment. Each user can also participate in creating a collective map of noise pollution by sharing geolocalized measurement data with the NoiseTube community.

- Ellie D’Hondt