Case Study: Noise Maps

A noise map is a graphic representation of the sound level distribution. Noise maps are used for calculating the areas affected by noise, determining the number of sensitive buildings affected by high noise levels, getting noise prediction models. The spatial database and spatial analyzing tools of GIS is useful to monitor the effect of noise and its impact.

European Union Member States are required to produce strategic noise maps in their main cities.

What are the necessities for a noise map?

3D city model of the area

Software packages: ARCVIEW/GIS, (ArcMap, Spatial analyst, 3D analyst, and ArcScene extension), standard noise calculation software, Point Cloud Mapper (PCM), FIELDS

The steps for 3D noise maps:

Step 1: Collection of data

Step 2: Building 3D city model, extracting and organizing the data about the objects of the 3D city model for noise calculation.

Step 3: Generating the 3D noise observation points and building 3D noise model.

These observation points represent location of virtual microphones where the noise levels are to be calculated. The acoustic indicators can be determined by computation or measurement methods. However, computation methods are widely preferred. Noise levels are calculated at each observation point by using noise calculation software.

When results are obtained, spatial interpolation was applied to give a continuous graphical representation of sound levels by using GIS tools.

3D noise map shows the volumetric view of noise levels on the road surface of study area.

These are the 3D noise map and noise contours of the Delft. Inhabitants on lower floors are more affected than on upper floors.

The size and position of noise barriers can be decided most optionally using 3D noise models. Higher barriers located close to the road are more effective to prevent the noise.

For more information about noise maps:

For Delft noise map:

For Paris noise map:


Case Study : New York Physical model and GIS 2D Mapping



I did a research on the Physical model cities , specifically focusing on the New York city Model. The first question that comes to our mind is that even in this world of digitization of everything , why do we need the physical models ?? Well , in my opinion , i believe that a physical model is the best way to visualize a city , and to propose new urban developments , architectural proposals , and to do research. A physical model gives us the real glimpse of the city , from it’s history to it’s future.

My case study , was on the New York City Model ( physical model ) and the GIS 2d maps of the city.

The incredible physical model of the city was created by Michael Chesko , who just for his passion for modelling imaginary cities , built the NY model , which is among the best tiny models of the world. This model is at a scale of 1: 3200 , where 3/8 th of an inch = 100 ft.

To get an idea of the scale , the Empire State building ( ht. = 1250 ft ) is only 4.7 inch high on the physical model. This guy , definately had a lot of patience , as he used to wake up at 7am and work till 12 pm. every day. and worked on this model for 2000 hrs !!!!

Chesko spent all these hours carving each and every building with basic tools like X Acto blades and fingernail files. The only resources he used to build this model were blueprints , google maps and photographs.

The NY GIS 2D Maps :

While doing my research for the NY GIS , i found that very similar to the Chicago data portal , open to public , even NY has it’s own data portal which is open to public. Most of the data for NY GIS can be found on NY GIS Clearinghouse website , where in you’d find the GIS Data Search , Data set listings ( as per name , organisation and sector ) , Imagery Data Sets ( raster maps and ortho imagery ) , And the GIS tools.

While exploring the website , i downloaded the ArcGIS Explorer , which is a free tool used for query only. Here you can see the 2d digitised maps for roads , topography , open street maps etc.

NY has also made a few GIS explorers , for Zoning of the city , City Model ( to search for the events and activities ) going on in the city , Tax Maps , to calculate how many people have been paying their taxes. etc.

While doing this research i learnt a lot about the 2D Mapping in GIS and the actual reasons behind the making of the physical models.