Project Journal

21 March 2013

Earmark: A Decible City Mapping App

What can we learn from listening to our city?

A look to see if we can assess a neighborhood’s health by listening to it, by tracking noise levels and overlaying it onto a city map, in heat maps or elevation based on loudness.

The Opportunity

By using a mobile app we can easily distribute and start capturing information to prove out the concept at zero cost. The more data the better - crowd sourcing can immediately start returning stats on neighborhoods to quickly validate this research.

How does it work?

This application runs in the background of your Android smartphone and takes data snapshots of your location, time and audio levels roughly every 5 minutes. Indoor noise data is inevitable, so you may have to just get out of the house more and enjoy your community. The application is also set to be mindful of people’s data and battery by only uploading its data logs when it is connected to Wi-Fi - NOTE: This app will still effect the battery as it is making often GPS calls. When the device is connected to a Wi-Fi network, that has internet access, the application encrypts the data and then sends it back to a private data server. That data is then decrypted and saved into a SQL database. These data points can then be overlayed onto Google Maps to visually display noise levels throught the city. The uses for this data are yet to be discovered, but one easy potential is when looking to purchase or rent and new home. Once this data is collected and the project is complete, all data will be made available to the public.

More here:

Homepage: https://michaelmassie.com/earmark/index.html

tags: project