Measuring noise pollution

Measuring noise pollution - Noise Map for Santa Clara CountyWe’ve learned about two websites for measuring noise pollution and thought our readers would be interested. In some cases, it can be surprising that the sound levels are lower or higher than anticipated!

These are great tools for getting a general idea on volume, but you’ll want to check out any properties in person and perhaps even talk with neighbors to know for sure if it’s an issue.

Measuring noise pollution: two sites

How Loud

The first site is How Loud.

With HowLoud, the higher the score, the quieter the location. You can check for just the volume from different sources. In my experience, it does not cover all sources of noise. It does reference the influence of traffic, airports, and local sources of noise.

Noise Map

The other site is Noise Map.

Noise map appears to focus on the roar from airplanes landing and taking off as opposed to any other sources. It provides a decibel reading, which is helpful.

Sources of sound pollution


Elevation map – learn your home’s elevation

There’s a cool elevation map, or topographical map, which can show us the elevation of any given parcel in the area.  The topographical map can be accessed HERE. Seeing a topographical map isn’t too surprising, but what did somewhat amaze me was the ability to zoom in, click on a particular house, and learn its precise elevation over sea level.

Why an elevation map might matter to you

Knowing the topography is useful for learning whether your neighborhood is truly flat or if there’s a bit of hill that you aren’t noticing. The understanding slope is helpful for understanding which way the water runs in downpours, among other things.

Elevation map for San Jose and nearby

The map is color coded with reds being higher and blues being lower.