And you thought mobile phones brought only increased noise pollution to public areas. NoiseTube has an application that uses smartphones to map out areas in the European Union in violation of member nations noise pollution standards.
Nicolas Maisonneuve of the Sony Computer Science Laboratory in Paris says that using sensors around areas such as airports and railway stations is not as precise as using their downloadable software app to monitor sound. "The goal was to turn the mobile phone into an environmental sensor," says Maisonneuve.
New Scientist reports that a smartphone user calls into a NoiseTube number and the GPS location and sound level from the phones microphone are analyzed. NoiseTube then checks on local weather conditions to discount, ie, extreme wind noise, that may skew the data. The data is put on Google Maps and is available to the public.