From the sound of the wind rustling through the trees to a jackhammer cracking through the pavement, our daily lives are filled with sounds ranging from quiet to loud, which results in an environment that can be either relaxing or stressful. Research has established that the environmental soundscape has a large impact on our stress levels, our sleep, and our cardiovascular and mental health. Unfortunately, the unreasonably high sound levels we encounter daily is often met with nonchalance, while the quiet places we can escape are neither publicized or promoted. It is believed that noise is a sacrifice we make for living in a motorized and industrialized society. Therefore, very little information is available for us understand the spatial, temporal, and visual distribution sound in our communities.
The NoiseScore application was designed to address this lack of information by utilizing smart phone technology to capture both the objective and subjective nature of the sounds you encounter as you go about your daily routine.
With the Noisescore application, you can:
• Objectively describe your daily soundscape by measuring sound levels
• Subjectively describe your daily soundscape by answering a brief survey
This information can be utilized to:
• Understand the spatial and temporal distribution of sound levels and noise perception in your community both overall and by specific sources such as loud parties, road traffic, or aircraft noise.
• Identify both quiet and loud spaces you can escape from or travel to
• Allow for your voice to be HEARD and your issues to be seen.
1. The NoiseScore sound level meter measures an unweighted sound pressure level—the dB. One of our primary research goals is to study total noise—that is, we want to capture the contribution of low and high frequency sound as well capture both the noise we hear and feel.
2. Our sound level meter is in an experimental phase and is being subjected to continuous review and improvement. We welcome any feedback and appreciate your patience as we test and update.
3. While we have carefully tested this application, you may experience issues. Please keep in mind that this application is a work in progress and your feedback helps us to improve it. If you do experience issues, please reach out to us.
The NoiseScore application is a community research project developed and maintained by Noise and the City, an advocacy group founded by Erica Walker, a postdoctoral researcher at Boston University School of Public Health in the Department of Environmental Health.
To learn more about our project, visit us at www.noiseandthecity.com, noisescore.com, www.noiseandthecity.org/noisescore.