How loud is it where you live? proposes build a sound map of North America.

Noise studies today are commissioned by local government agencies and conducted by traditional engineering firms. The results are stuck in reports in file cabinets and never reach the people who could use them. Imagine if the weather report were kept at a county office and available only on request!

It’s true – noise studies are hard to find. Even for us practitioners.

HowLoud is the 21st century noise information source: accurate, massive scale, available to everyone and delivered on demand. Like traditional acoustics engineering companies, we do not use thousands or millions of microphones. Rather, we build a model and determine the sound profile created by the sources, such as vehicle flow with certain speed and volume, a certain type of plane flying overhead, or a stadium with thousands of cheering fans. We then use physics to propagate the noise through the environment. The noise is attenuated as it travels, is reflected off obstacles and has its frequency profile changed. Our model incorporates all these effects and gives the noise level in decibels.

Impressive, if they’ve managed to pull this off accurately. It would be interesting to see some of the background work on this. It may obviate (or at least reduce much of the work for) the noise impact studies that are required for new developments.

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