Researchers create interactive Glasgow sound map

06 August 2015

Researchers create interactive Glasgow sound map

Researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) have created an interactive sound map of Glasgow.

Audio experts from GCU’s School of Engineering and Built Environment have released the sound map app to communicate information about environmental noise in specific locations around the city and their effect on the listener.

PhD student Adam Craig developed the ‘Think About Sound’ interactive map, which can be downloaded as a mobile app and viewed online, which allows users to experience various locations in the city by using 3D audio recordings and panoramic visuals.

The map provides data on average noise levels for a given location and perceived annoyance levels from the perspective of the listener. The map is accompanied by crowd-sourced audio recordings.

Adam Craig said: “The main purpose of this map is to address the limitation of current environmental noise maps by allowing users to experience the environmental sound present in a particular location.”

Another benefit of this approach is the potential to examine how subjectively annoying or disturbing the noise is to the listener by building a measure of human perception into the model.

Senior Audio Lecturer Dr Don Knox said: “The sound that surrounds us as we go about our everyday lives has a significant effect upon us. This technology has the potential to gather information on how we are affected by environmental sound.”

Next steps for the project include the development of audio technology to analyse sound recordings, automatically predicting annoyance, valence (the emotional value associated with a stimulus), and arousal features of environmental sounds.

The map can found at http://www.thinkaboutsound.co.uk/

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