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GIS Day 2013

Schools visiting RGS-IBG used an app to map noise levels in Hyde Park. What did they discover?


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On 20 November 2013, sixth form students from across London and South East England visited the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) to use a new mobile phone app to map noise levels in Hyde Park.

As part of the GIS (Geographical Information Systems) Day celebrations, the students created an interactive map to discover areas of noise pollution and tranquillity within the park. 

The mapping activities, run by RGS-IBG in partnership with software supplier Esri UK and the Association for Geographic Information, will demonstrate how mobile technologies can transform geographical fieldwork in schools.

This is the first time the technology has been used by schools in this way for collaborative fieldwork.

The map highlights tranquil areas with a green colour and noisy areas with a red colour, with varying shades in between. As you can see from the data, the loudest areas of the park are predominantly towards the outskirts, closest to the main roads. The most tranquil areas are to be found as you move towards the centre of the park.

There are some anomalies however, with a number of noisy areas located deep within the park. Some data readings come attached with a photo, which in most cases illustrates why there are higher noise levels in certain places. These include cars or cleaning operations, which affect tranquillity in a number of areas.

There are some limitations with this set of data. Some areas were inaccessible due to the time the fieldwork was carried out, due to functions such as Winter Wonderland. However, while not displaying complete coverage of Hyde Park, it succeeds in portraying a clear 'noise map' of the area.

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