When we were brainstorming for project ideas we decided to create something that focused on a form of pollution that doesn’t get much attention but is extremely detrimental: noise pollution. We thought of making a noise pollution map, and looked around the internet for similar projects to make sure that our idea was original. We looked around, and couldn’t find any global noise pollution maps. So then the idea of SoundScale was born; a website that uses crowdsourcing to monitor noise pollution and educate the public about it.

What it does

SoundScale uses crowdsourcing to create a heatmap with noise pollution data. Users can go to our contribute data page and submit their local decibel level. The website automatically detects their location and logs the data into our database. Users can view the gathered data on the heatmap, where it gives comprehensive information on noise pollution across the globe. This map will be of great use to environmental groups, who will know where to focus their pollution reduction efforts. It can also be used to educate the general public on the widespread effects of noise pollution.

How we built it

  • For the front end, we used standard vanilla HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. To render the map, we used Google’s JavaScript map library.
  • For the backend, we used a Node.js server running on Replit. This was using Express.js to manage network requests, and MongoDB to manage the database.

Challenges we ran into

  • Sometimes we would disagree on what the website should look like, but we would always discuss and resolve our issues, and everyone would be happy with the results.
  • Some of the animations were harder to create, but in the end, we managed to make them.
  • Because of COVID-19, we had to stay virtual, which was a bit of a problem, but we ended up using and to communicate and code.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • We completed and built a project that is not only useful for other people but also has the potential to help the environment.
  • We learned many new things about coding and pollution (see below for more info).

What we learned

  • How to make an effective parallax effect that doesn’t mess with the rest of the website
  • How to use Google Map’s API service
  • The adverse effects of noise pollution on our environment

What's next for SoundScale

  • An API service that allows people to use the data that we get from crowdsourcing.
  • Have the website also cover light pollution, which is also a major threat to our environment.
  • Create an application on our website which people can use to measure the decibel levels in their area.
  • Let more people know about the SoundScale so that the project will get more data.

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