Neat Idea: Crowdsourcing to Locate Silence

6 Jul

Have you ever just wanted to be able to hear your own thoughts for a few minutes? Noise is everywhere, and sometimes we don’t even notice it until it drowns out everything else. And if you live in a city, it’s practically impossible to escape.

So where’s a good place to read? To meditate? To enjoy a peaceful moment without the ever-present wail of the real world? Jason Sweeney hopes he has the answer with the Stereopublic project, which simply uses crowdsourcing to find areas of silence within a bustling city.

Crowdsourcing is at its best when it allows us to do things like this. A silent space could be no more than a few cubic feet in size, located anywhere, or otherwise difficult to find. Mass collaboration is the only efficient way to gather such data.

Additionally, there are benefits for autistic or disabled people who don’t handle loud noises for extended periods well. Indeed, this entire project is Sweeney’s way of helping the “sonic health” of cities worldwide, in addition to encouraging their residents to go exploring to find new silent bastions of solitude.

Sweeney has tapped into the creative power of the crowd before, so I’m confident that he has the know-how to push this project in the right directions. The concept is still new, so if you’re interested, setting up a Google Alert might not be a bad idea. Let me know if anything interesting develops!


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