New app to analyze noise
Scientists at the University of Granada in southern Spain are creating a new application1 to analyze noise pollution, and combines data like street type, road conditions, and average vehicle speed to predict the noise level on any given street at any given time. It is said the technology is 95 percent accurate.
The app is seen as immediately useful to people who are looking to rent or purchase a home, taking noise levels into consideration as they select their location. Researchers are currently trying to reduce the number of variables required to produce an accurate forecast of the noise levels in a given area.
To develop this new system, the researchers analyzed a set of noise data collected in Granada in 2007, although they are collecting further data in other cities “to validate the model.” The noise forecasting models employed to date have been based on traditional mathematical methods that predict noise levels using a specific set of data. “This is the first system to apply Soft Computing methods in urban noise assessment,” adds one of the researchers, “and there is scarce literature available on this method”.
According to GOOD Magazine2, “Noise pollution can contribute to some serious health problems—including stress-related illnesses, high blood pressure, hearing loss, and heart attacks. It’s also lousy for ecosystems, threatening coral reefs and killing whales. If this application helps us study, and mitigate, those effects, it could be useful for much more than just home shopping.”
A different method, a different company
While researchers at the Spanish university devote time and money to this complicated algorithm, the private sector has already hinted that American real estate may someday have noise measurements included in listing data.
In late 2010, Trulia acquired Movity.com, an insanely innovative real estate search company that used animated heat maps to explain things, including noise levels, particularly in San Francisco by using physical monitors of areas throughout the day and night.
Imagine a visualization like this in every city in America. Because Trulia acquired Movity and who knows how many patents, along with their ridiculously intelligent talent, Trulia is the only real estate search company that could beat the University of Granada to the punch, without having to develop billions of dollars worth of algorithms.
What would be even more dramatic and innovative is if Trulia (or any real estate search company) worked with the University of Granada to adopt their algorithm, then implement the Movity-style heat maps. That would be genius.