Noise Monitoring

Noise Monitoring for Public Events

I colorful fireworks display lights up the night sky

Who had the loudest Canada Day celebration?

I colorful fireworks display lights up the night sky
While fireworks offer a beautiful display of light and color, they generate a ton of noise, which can be disruptive.

As the rain dissipates and the heat takes hold across North America, summer brings an array of outdoor events from coast to coast. One of the first events of the season is Canada Day. To honor the occasion, Citysage went above and beyond by installing Sonalert noise level monitoring sensors at celebrations in British Columbia’s Burnaby, Coquitlam, and Surrey municipalities.

Our mission? To uncover the city that knows how to throw an unforgettable celebration. After analyzing the data, we discovered a variety of interesting insights.

Analyzing Noise Levels

Before we can dive into who was the loudest, it’s important to understand how we obtained the results and how Sonalert and the Citysage platform interpret the data.

Our devices measure sound levels in decibels (dB) every minute. To visualize the data and gain a clearer understanding, we present the sound level comparisons in the following plot. However, due to significant fluctuations in noise levels, it becomes challenging to discern the overall pattern. To address this, Sonalert resamples the sound levels and calculates the average level, also known as the Leq, over 10-minute intervals. This approach provides a more comprehensive and easier-to-interpret representation of the data.

A graph showing the noise levels over July 1st for three Canadian cities
A graph showing the noise levels on Canada Day for three Canadian cities using Leq averaging

Based on the resampled data, it is evident that the noise levels were relatively consistent across all cities during the morning of July 1. However, in the afternoon and evening, Surrey and Coquitlam exhibited similar noise levels, while Burnaby experienced intermittent quiet periods intermixed with significantly louder periods. This occurrence can be attributed to the outdoor concert performances by The Boom Booms, LIGHTS, and Shawnee Kish. As these were near the Burnaby sensor, they caused fluctuations in noise intensity. Check out the figure below for a visual representation of the average decibel levels throughout the day.

A table showing the average decibel levels throughout the day for three Canadian cities

Who Had the Longest Fireworks?

While fireworks may not be favored by your neighbors and their dogs, they hold a significant role in Canada Day (and Fourth of July) celebrations. These mesmerizing light displays serve as a magical finale to the night’s festivities. However, it’s important to acknowledge that fireworks generate substantial noise. This leads to the question: How much noise was produced, and which city’s display lasted the longest?

Analyzing the plot of sound levels across all three cities easily reveals the presence of fireworks displays. Utilizing this data, we can determine the city that hosted the longest-duration display. On July 1, the sunset occurred at 9:21 pm, indicating that it wasn’t dark enough for fireworks until at least 10 pm. Coquitlam initiated their fireworks as early as 10:03 pm, while Burnaby and Surrey delayed their displays until 10:20 pm. Both Burnaby and Coquitlam showcased fireworks for a duration of 18 minutes, whereas Surrey’s display lasted only 10 minutes. It is worth mentioning that while the decibel level recorded for Burnaby’s fireworks display exceeded the other cities’ displays by approximately 10 dB, this discrepancy is likely due to the proximity of our sensor to the fireworks launch site, rather than the fireworks themselves being inherently louder.

A set of graphs and a table showing the fireworks display duration for three Canadian cities
A set of graphs and a table showing the fireworks display duration for three Canadian cities
A set of graphs and a table showing the fireworks display duration for three Canadian cities
A set of graphs and a table showing the fireworks display duration for three Canadian cities

Who Stayed Out the Latest?

Once the fireworks display concluded, the noise levels gradually diminished as people started making their way home. During the late-night hours between 2 am and 6 am, it’s typical for the sound levels at all locations to hover around 54–56 dB. We can assume a noise level above 60 dB is indicative of people still enjoying the night. By examining the plot, we can uncover who was the last to call it quits.

In the race to tranquility, Coquitlam took the lead, with noise levels dropping below 60 dB at a remarkable 12:20 am. Surrey followed suit, experiencing a decrease in noise around 12:40 am. Meanwhile, Burnaby’s vibrant crowd held out the longest, refusing to quiet down until just after 1:30 am.

It seems like Burnaby knows how to savor every moment of the night, keeping the excitement alive just a tad longer.

A graph showing which noise levels for three Canadian cities to determine which city was celebrating the latest
A large fireworks display with a crowd of onlookers

While Burnaby may have claimed the title of being the loudest, we must acknowledge that proximity played a role, preventing us from definitively declaring them the ultimate winner. Nevertheless, we did discover some intriguing data points from that memorable night.

Burnaby managed to secure the accolade for the longest fireworks display, almost doubling Surrey’s showcase, and surpassing Coquitlam by a mere 5 seconds. It appears that Burnaby’s vibrant crowd also refused to call it quits, lingering well after Surrey and Coquitlam had thrown in the towel.

Though we’ve had fun with this experiment, there are real benefits to cities using Internet of Things (IoT) technologies like these. Creative opportunities abound for cities to enhance their efficiency, improve services, and create a more sustainable and enjoyable environment for their citizens. From monitoring noise levels to a wide array of other applications, cities can leverage technology in ingenious ways to plan events, mitigate disruptions, and make data-driven decisions.