Tender Noise [movity.com] captures, visualizes and maps the noise across Tenderloin, a neighborhood in downtown San Francisco. The map is the result of a collaboration between design studio Stamen, building consultancy Arup and data mapping company Movity (now bought by real estate search engine Trulia). The website aims to highlight the aural quality of everyday streets through visualizing the frequently-logged historical decibel (dBA) levels over a few days period, hereby giving home buyers and renters valuable information about the actual situation before making a large financial commitment in real estate.
The environmental noise originating from freeways, cable cars, bars and restaurants seems to be one of the most common complaints of residents, and one the most important factors when deciding on where to live. Therefore, 13 (expensive) decibel readers were installed at several major intersections in the Tenderloin area, which resulted in about 1.6 million data points, lots of questions by the police, and several harassments by local business owners.