Sunday, 19 July 2009


AudioBoo is an iPhone Social Networking application that allows users to make digital noise recordings on their iPhone then post them on the AudioBoo website where they can be shared with other users. The recordings, referred to as ‘Boos’, can be made anywhere and, although they can not be saved, may be published remotely subject to network reception.

Using the iPhone’s location awareness Boos are geotagged so that, on the AudioBoo website, the sound file / media player is accompanied by an embedded Google Map showing the location where the recording was made (from this the position's latitude and longitude can be extracted). In addition to the sound recording and its location the website also provides the time at which the recording was made, the author, and the title of the boo.

AudioBoo represents an alternative approach to conducting a participatory noise survey using mobile phones: rather than measuring the level of a noise event in situ AudioBoo offers the facility to record the event its self, geographically reference its location and publish it remotely to a location where it can be readily accessed and shared.

Applying a predetermined tag (lhrnoise) to each Boo means that, using the website’s search facility, Boos collected and published for the LhrNOISEsurvey can be easy identified. Recorded as MP3 files software capable of Acoustic Analysis can be used to analyse the recordings and identify the levels of aircraft noise experienced. Transferring the analysis of the noise events from the 'front end' (the phone) to the 'back end' (me) provides a significantly more user friendly method of collecting data and facilitates an approach to the analysis of noise levels with the potential of distinguishing aircraft noise from other noise sources (such as wind of traffic) that might otherwise distort the measurement.

Possibly the greatest advantage of AudioBoo is its capacity to communicate peoples experiences of aircraft noise as real audio, rather than just numbers. The map below shows markers identifying the location of recordings, hyperlinking them to the AudioBoo website means the respective recording can be heard.

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