India: Awaaz Foundation, an NGO working against noise pollution, has used an app called ‘Noise Watch’ to record noise levels on a GIS map. The app helped in developing a noise map for the city of Mumbai. The map shows 18 zones with noise levels in the danger zone. Awaaz Foundation has submitted this map to the Chief Minister of the state.
‘Noise Watch’ has been developed by the European Environment Agency- Eye on Earth project. It can be downloaded free on any Android phone or iPhone. The user needs to click on ”Start Measurement” and wait until an average reading of several minutes is generated. The measurement can then be uploaded onto a satellite map. The maximum safe level of noise for human ears is 85 decibels. The app marks anything above this level as red (read unsafe) on the satellite map. The app is limited by the speaker installed in the smartphone and therefore the noise map cannot be considered scientifically accurate. However, it is good enough to let the user know whether a particular area has safe or unsafe levels of noise. The noise map of Mumbai shows 18 red zones (above 75 decibels) and 40 orange zone (65-77 decibels). Awaaz Foundation has been trying to convince people to reduce noise during the Ganesh festival in Mumbai. Several NGOs are participating to make the campaign successful.