Urban spaces are noisy places. Noise Tube is a citizen science project that endeavors to find out exactly how noisy by enlisting your cell phone as a sensor.
By downloading a simple (and free) Android app, you can report data back to a central server about the level of noise in your city. Currently, the project is receiving data from 241 cities, and the data is being mapped using Google Earth, another free download. A iOS version is apparently pending approval from the Apple app store.
Why is a study of noise pollution important? Collecting data helps researchers determine what effects ambient noise have on human population, an important consideration as the world’s population becomes increasingly urban. On-the-fly mapping can also help local decision-makers with urban planning issues. And if nothing else, if you’re looking for a place to do some quiet contemplation, this project will tell you locations to avoid.
Double-check your data plan details before signing on to this one, as it does require data transmission in real time.