…from New Scientist…
“Cellphones could soon be used to fight noise pollution – an irony that won’t be lost on those driven to distraction by mobile phones’ ringtones.
“In a bid to make cities quieter, the European Union requires member states to create noise maps of their urban areas once every five years. Rather than deploying costly sensors all over a city, the maps are often created using computer models that predict how various sources of noise, such as airports and railway stations, affect the areas around them.
“Nicolas Maisonneuve of the Sony Computer Science Laboratory in Paris, France, says that those maps are not an accurate reflection of residents’ exposure to noise. To get a more precise picture, Maisonneuve’s team has developed NoiseTube, a downloadable software app which uses people’s smartphones to monitor noise pollution. “The goal was to turn the mobile phone into an environmental sensor,” says Maisonneuve.”