The Idea

Noise pollution is one of the most important factors affecting the quality of urban life. Excessive noise leads to an increase in stress levels, affecting not only our well-being but also our health. To stay relaxed and sane every dweller of a big city has to get his share of peace and quiet. Yet, as desirable as secluded places are, they are not easy to come by, and the bigger the city, the harder it gets to find a quiet spot for yourself.

To facilitate this search, we have created a web app offering directions to the most quiet and secluded places nearby. We hope that thanks to the app users could immediately get some relief from their daily urban aches.

We would like to submit this app under the Public Safety category.

How It Works

On a single user click the app gathers all available sound samples from street lamp sensors. Because of the small number of sensors offering media assets, people count per area is gathered as a proxy for noisiness. The app uses the Public Safety, Pedestrian, and Authentication APIs.

Based on the current location, received from user's web browser, the app filters out sensor located further than 5 km away. From all of those remaining devices the app chooses two - one with the lowest noise level and one with the smallest number of people (unless it happens to be the same device). The coordinates of chosen devices are extracted and fed into embedded Google Maps iframe.

The output is a map showing how to get from the current user location to the one chosen by the app as quiet or secluded.

Possible Extensions

In the current form the app serves the city indirectly by increasing the well-being of its inhabitants. One possible extension, allowing for more direct benefit, would be to store and use the data generated by the app users. This will allow the city authorities to identify 'the most annoying' spots in the city. That is - places requiring help, where a lot of people are, but where a lot of people do not want to be.

Apart from this major extension here is a list of small improvements still to be done such as:

  • Allowing the user to choose the search radius.
  • Allow the user to choose from a number of suggested places.
  • Speeding up the loading time.
  • Improving the visual design.
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