Mapping a City’s Soundscape
Good City Life, a research group studying urban quality of life issues, has created Chatty Maps, a map illustrating the defining sounds of every street in twelve major cities around the world, including New York, Washington, D.C., London, Madrid, and Rome. Chatty Maps uses social media data to map a city’s sound profile by aggregating geotagged photos on Flickr and analyzing sound-related tags, including “wind” or “birds,” and emotion-related tags including “anger” or “surprise,” to determine the sound profile of a particular location. Users can click on a section of a street to examine the makeup of its sound profile based on six categories—transport, nature, music, mechanical, and indoor—and the common emotions associated with those sounds. City planners can use this information to better understand the sounds associated with the built environment and how it could impact urban life.