This Ph.D. research project being carried out at Glasgow Caledonian University investigates the application of binaural recording technology for the creation of environmental noise maps as a means of communicating information on environmental noise to the general public. In addition, the research will incorporate measures of human perception of environmental sound by utilising audio analysis and classification techniques. Through this research, more detailed and specific maps of environmental noise will be produced that enable better assessment of its impact upon the population. The main aim of this research is therefore to develop sound spatialisation and analysis technology for the creation of improved environmental noise maps which reflect the experience of the listener.
Measure and analyse the emotional effects of noise sources upon listeners, including common individual stimuli and urban soundscapes.
Develop a reliable means of automatically classifying urban soundscapes in terms of their emotional effect. Identify suitable sound descriptors in order to a build robust method of classification from audio recordings.
Develop a system of communicating information on environmental noise to the public using sound spatialisation techniques, based on audio recordings at a local level.
Image from Scottish Noise Mapping
Current noise maps represent environmental noise levels, how they vary by geographical location, and are used for communicating information on environmental noise to the public. As such they are a potential quality of life indicator for those living in areas where noise pollution could be a detrimental factor. However this potential is not currently being fully exploited by noise maps produced by European Union member states, which are based on road traffic, rail, industry, and airport data and environmental variables rather than actual recordings of environmental noise at a given location. The aim of this research is to create an interactive audio tool using 3D environmental noise maps based on binaural recordings and crowd-sourced material.
This then has the potential to communicate more meaningful information on environmental noise to the public in that it will allow them to experience the noise levels present in a particular location. Another benefit of this approach is the potential to examine how subjectively annoying or disturbing the noise is to the listener by building a measure of human perception into the model. Therefore this research aims to create more sophisticated environmental sound maps which communicate both location-specific noise information, and the subjective effect of noise upon the listener.
The environmental sound map is now live and can be found at www.thinkaboutsound.co.uk or by clicking the link opposite.
Sound Map Visualisation
Please click the link below to go to the Think About Sound interactive map. If you wish to find out more about the project then please get in touch using the form below.
Requires iOS 6 or later
Optimised for iPhone 4+
Current Version: 2.0.1
Requires Android version 4.0 and up
Current Version: 2.0.1
Instructions on how to submit your soundscape and responses are contained within the application but should you have any questions or problems, please contact us using the form at the bottom of this page.
This research aims to enable and encourage public participation in order to shed light on the perception of the sound you encounter in your daily life. The characteristics found in sound can easily be measured but it is the subjective experiences that we are aiming to quantify and places this experimental method at the discretion of you, the participant.
The proliferation of mobile devices in recent years had led to an increase in the extent of research being carried out often exploiting the various sensors on the device. Some smart phones for example can contain sensors for audio capture, temperature measurement, heart-rate monitoring etc. and it is the availability and ease of use of these mobile phones which will be used here.
If you would like to download the app and contribute to the sound map then please go to the relevant store for your device (iOS or Android only) and search for 'Think About Sound'. You can also click the links opposite to go directly to the download page from this website.
Adam Craig is a Ph.D student studying at Glasgow Caledonian University within the School of Engineering and Built Environment. After obtaining a first class honours in his undergraduate Audio Technology degree in 2011, Adam went on to embark on a Ph.D concentrating his research on using advanced audio technology for the creation of environmental sound maps. Is currently a member of the AudioLab Research team at GCU and is a member of the Institute of Acoustics and the Audio Engineering Society. Out with his academic research, Adam also teaches sound engineering to high-school students within his local education authority.
Dr Don Knox completed his PhD in audio signal processing in 2004 in collaboration with the Centre for Music Technology at Glasgow University. His main research interests include audio and music analysis and classification, music emotion, and music psychology, with a focus on developing multidisciplinary research into music technology for health and wellbeing. He has led EPSRC funded research into music emotion classification, published articles in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America and the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. He has delivered invited talks for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the Open University and the Audio Engineering Society. He is director of the GCU audio research group, founding member of the Scottish Music Health Network, member of the AES, IEEE and SEMPRE, a fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and associate editor for Psychology of Music.
David Moore is an Audio Technology Lecturer in the School of Engineering and the Built Environment at Glasgow Caledonian University. He commenced this post in 2009 after completing his Ph.D at the University of Huddersfield. His PhD work focused on spatial sound and audio reproduction algorithms. He is currently a member of the AudioLab Research team at GCU, and is the chair for the Scottish Section of the Audio Engineering Society. Alongside his technical research, Dr Moore has also been undertaking pedagogical research within the area of audio education.
Gui Yun Tian is a professor of Sensor Technologies in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Newcastle University. His research interests include Electromagnetic sensors, sensor array and sensor network Electromagnetic Non-destructive Evaluation Advanced signal processing Monitoring systems and applications. Gui Yun is a member of the Communications, Sensors and Signal Processing research group. He is also an EPSRC College Member, a Fellow of the Institute of Technology and Engineering, Senior Member of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers, and a Fellow of the British Institute of Non-destructive Testing.
University based in Glasgow, Scotland and home of the research project.
Website dedicated to the ongoing audio research based at GGU. The site is currently under construction.
Facebook page of the student activities undertaken during the academic year.
Home of Scottish Noise Mapping and the current round of noise maps produced by the government.
tel: 0141 331 8329