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Open AccessArticle

Combining VR Visualization and Sonification for Immersive Exploration of Urban Noise Standards

Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Rostock, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 6, 18051 Rostock, Germany
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Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2019, 3(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti3020034
Received: 28 March 2019 / Revised: 3 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 13 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactive 3D Cartography)
Urban traffic noise situations are usually visualized as conventional 2D maps or 3D scenes. These representations are indispensable tools to inform decision makers and citizens about issues of health, safety, and quality of life but require expert knowledge in order to be properly understood and put into context. The subjectivity of how we perceive noise as well as the inaccuracies in common noise calculation standards are rarely represented. We present a virtual reality application that seeks to offer an audiovisual glimpse into the background workings of one of these standards, by employing a multisensory, immersive analytics approach that allows users to interactively explore and listen to an approximate rendering of the data in the same environment that the noise simulation occurs in. In order for this approach to be useful, it should manage complicated noise level calculations in a real time environment and run on commodity low-cost VR hardware. In a prototypical implementation, we utilized simple VR interactions common to current mobile VR headsets and combined them with techniques from data visualization and sonification to allow users to explore road traffic noise in an immersive real-time urban environment. The noise levels were calculated over CityGML LoD2 building geometries, in accordance with Common Noise Assessment Methods in Europe (CNOSSOS-EU) sound propagation methods. View Full-Text
Keywords: virtual reality; immersive analytics; multisensory; sonification; urban planning; environmental noise virtual reality; immersive analytics; multisensory; sonification; urban planning; environmental noise
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Berger, M.; Bill, R. Combining VR Visualization and Sonification for Immersive Exploration of Urban Noise Standards. Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2019, 3, 34.

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