Environmental Noise Mapping Using Measurements in Transit

Gareth Bennett*, Eoin A. King*, Jan Curn†, Vinny Cahill†, Fabián E. Bustamante‡ and Henry J. Rice*
In Proc. of ISMA, September 2010.

(*) Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering,
Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

(†) School of Computer Science and Statistics,
Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

(‡) EECS Department
Northwestern University, USA


Due to the ever increasing level of environmental noise that the EU population is exposed to, all countries are directed to disseminate community noise level exposures to the public in accordance with EU Directive 2002/49/EC. Environmental noise maps are used for this purpose and as a means to avoid, prevent or reduce the harmful effects caused by exposure to environmental noise. There is no common standard to which these maps are generated in the EU and indeed these maps are in most cases inaccurate due to poorly informed predictive models. This paper develops a novel environmental noise monitoring methodology which will allow accurate road noise measurements to replace erroneous source model approximations in the generation of noise maps. The approach proposes the acquisition of sound levels and position coordinates by instrumented vehicles such as bicycles or cars or by pedestrians equipped with a Smartphone. The accumulation of large amounts of data over time will result in extremely high spatial and temporal resolution resulting in an accurate measurement of environmental noise.