Sensing urban soundscapes

Tae Hong Park, Johnathan Turner, Michael Musick, Jun Hee Lee, Christopher Jacoby, Charlie Mydlarz, Justin Salamon

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Noise pollution is one of the most serious quality-of-life issues in urban environments. In New York City (NYC), for example, more than 80% of complaints1 registered with NYC's 311 phone line2 are noise complaints. Noise is not just a nuisance to city dwellers as its negative implications go far beyond the issue of quality-of-life; it contributes to cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbance, and tinnitus3, while also interfering with learning activities [21]. One of the greatest issues in measuring noise lies in two of the core characteristics of acoustic noise itself-transiency and structural multidimensionality. Common noise measurement practices based on average noise levels are severely inadequate in capturing the essence of noise and sound characteristics in general. Noise changes throughout the day, throughout the week, throughout the month, throughout the year, and changes with respect to its frequency characteristics, energy levels, and the context in which it is heard. This paper outlines a collaborative project that addresses critical components for understanding spatiotemporal acoustics: measuring, streaming, archiving, analyzing, and visualizing urban soundscapes [28] with a focus on noise rendered through a cyber-physical sensor network system built on Citygram [23, 24].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-382
Number of pages8
JournalCEUR Workshop Proceedings
StatePublished - 2014
Event2014 Joint Workshops on International Conference on Extending Database Technology, EDBT 2014 and International Conference on Database Theory, ICDT 2014 - Athens, Greece
Duration: Mar 28 2014 → …


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