Various forms of stress and sleep disorders are just a few potential consequences associated with the ongoing exposure of an individual to excessive noise. This creates the demand for noise maps, which are constructed by acoustic scientists and engineers.
These maps are essentially designed to give individuals an idea of how quiet or noisy an area is – to help them decide whether to live or work there. One of the great challenges to creating these maps is the fact that they are based entirely upon prediction. To that end, they need a significant amount of data input. They are difficult and time-consuming to make. There is also the cost factor. These maps can prove to be extremely expensive.
However, research indicates that relief might be on the way when it comes to creating these noise maps more efficiently. Simple smartphone apps are closing the gap compared to the more traditional noise maps. Everything about creating these maps with a mobile app points to something that is not only going to be easy to do, but is going to be considerably more affordable as well. SLA Lite is a good example of a mobile app that is currently available. It can measure noises to a consistent degree that stays along an average of 1 decibel of the true level of noise.
However, it is important to keep in mind that these maps are static. The future looks towards creating maps that will be able to provide comprehensive urban information in real time.