21 Jul

Sound Plan: Noise and Air Pollution Mapping and Modeling

Sound PlanScreen Shot 2015-07-21 at 9.20.49 AM is a German engineering company that focuses on noise control, air quality assurance and software development, through sound mapping. Their software SoundPLAN offers high-end simulation of noise modeling and air pollution calculations. SoundPLAN was one of the very first noise modeling softwares on the market, debuting in 1986. Noise emitted by various sources propagates and disperses over a given terrain in accordance to the laws of physics.

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 9.11.08 AMWorldwide, many governments and engineering associations felt the need to algorithmize the principles of acoustics so that different engineers assessing the same scenario would get reasonably close answers regarding noise dispersal. The company describes itself as an advanced planning tool, not a purely academic exercise, thus the program has a strong focus on what is needed to pinpoint where the problem is with noise and suggest a path to fix the problems. The practical application of the tool is meant to improve city life for people around the world, and make business and government decisions easier and more popular.
Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 9.11.39 AM In addition to noise modeling and mapping, SoundPLAN also calculates air pollution dispersal using a variety of specific software tools depending on the size of the particles and the dispersion rate of the pollutant. The products can be used to measure background pollution, as well as to conduct case studies on certain areas of concern.

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 9.21.05 AMMapping pollution, whether from noise or from particles, is crucial in an increasingly urbanized world where people often live in close proximity to noisy and dirty infrastructure. Understanding where the pollution is worst, and how it will impact the areas surrounding its origin, can aid urban planners in making better decisions to safeguard citizens from harm and discomfort.

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Sound Plan’s work towards reducing noise and air pollution stress in cities is an admirable innovation in urban geography. The American Geographical Society’s Fall Symposium focuses on exploring our future in an urbanized world. Read more here!

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By: Christopher Ewell, AGS on July 21, 2015

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