Mapping the Sounds of a City

The Atlantic - Technology 

The team also mapped the correlation between emotion-related and sound-related tags, finding, for example, that human sounds often evoke joy or surprise, while traffic and mechanical sounds are associated with anger and fear. Take the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C., where the popular John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts is located. A click on a street near the office, which has been marked orange, produces charts on the right that reveal music-related sounds to be most dominant, followed by nature and transport sounds. The creators of Chatty Maps--including the map researcher Daniele Quercia, the social-science researcher Luca Maria Aiello, the data scientist Rossano Schifanella, and the acoustic researcher Francesco Aletta--write in a press release that city planners too often focus on the negative effects of urban sounds. That's true; a lot of research suggests urban noise is a health hazard, with studies warning that it can raise your risk of obesity and take a toll on your mental health.

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