Sensing 1: Urban Fieldworks

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As our 1st assignment for our “Coding, Sensing and Making” Workshops, we were instructed to collect data from an urban environment. Extract quantitative data and present the information in an Excel Sheet.

Brainstorming Process

So, I had to start anew. Andreas provided us with an activity fields sheet to fill in to assist us in forming our project.

From the activity fields sheet, I discovered that I wanted to collect data that is related to sound and noise in places through video or audio recordings. This was how I came up with my final idea for the assignment.

Final Outcome

Objective: Comparing the average sound level and ambiance of 20 different places at 1 minute intervals

Materials: Camera, “Sound Meter” Mobile App (measures the decibels (dB) of your subject over any period of time and calculates the average noise level)

Bedok Reservoir Park
Changi Airport Terminal 2
Chinese Restaurant
Empty Room
Hair Salon
InterContinental Hotel Lobby
Ion Orchard
Lasalle Lecture Theatre
National Design Centre
National Library
MRT Cabin
Piano Practice
Road Junction
Swimming Pool
Wedding Event

After collecting the results I tried to rank the places according my own senses as I was curious to see how close is my hearing to the actual measurement of the recording. From the Excel sheet below, you can see that I failed horribly in some of my guesses (perceived noise ranking). For example, I was certain that the National Library would definitely be quieter than my office work space or a lecture. But, somehow the sound recording was able to pick noise from wind/air-conditioning and other white noise that we humans ignore. 

Learning Points

This is the first time we are doing data collection for this course. It provided a good start for us to practise going out and about to collect information from our surroundings. I am sure this would be useful when we start doing data collection and analysing the data for our own research topics. 

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