ODEN Questions & Answers
1. What is noise mapping?
A noise map is a graphical representation of the sound level distribution existing in a given region for example a province, city or even a project site for a defined time period.
Today noise mapping is conducted using software packages. These packages provide simulation of the physics of outdoors sound propagation to calculate sound levels within a digital noise model. The noise model would typically contain roads with attributes of speed and number of vehicles, man-made structures including buildings and noise barriers, other ground features and a high resolution digital terrain model. Output is normally in the form of a 2D color map showing sound level distribution and sometimes in 3D showing noise impact at the façade of buildings.
2. Why is noise mapping necessary?
Noise is irritating and known to cause health issues such as cardiovascular disease, declined cognitive performance, mental health problems and sleep disturbance. Thus, in many countries regulations exist to monitor and control noise levels from infrastructure for better protection of our health.
Though dependent on local environmental regulation of a country or nation, the most commonly adopted International practice and requirements for noise mapping are based on the Environmental Noise Directive (END) of the European Parliament and Council (i.e. Directive 2002/49/EC of 25 June 2002). Under the END directive, EU Member States are required to produce strategic noise maps in their main cities that include impacts from transport infrastructure and industrial activities.
The main goals of the END are to make a diagnosis of noise pollution problem through noise mapping, informing and consulting with the public, addressing noise issues through action planning, and to develop long-term strategies to further lower the number of people exposed to excessive noise.
3. What is ODEN?
ODEN which stands for On-demand Noise Mapping Day Evening and Night is a web-based noise mapping software platform developed by NGIS and its esteemed German partner Stapelfeldt Ingenieurgesellschaft using both companies cutting-edge technologies.
4. How is ODEN different from other tools?
Key features that differentiate ODEN from other software tools include its highly intuitive user interface, simple user operation designed for generalists use, end-to-end Web/Internet accessibility, workflow approach as well its unprecedented 3D impact visualization and navigation capability.
5. What are the application areas of ODEN?
ODEN is applicable in both large-area (e.g. country, province or city) and project-level (i.e. a site or single building) noise mapping or assessment activities. ODEN is a full-function feature-rich web-based tool that provides organisations with the capability to carry out:
– Large-area strategic noise mapping
– Broadbrush assessment and quick scenario iteration during preliminary planning or scheme design of road infrastructure, housing or building development projects
– Detailed noise assessment of finalised designs of road infrastructure, housing or building development projects including statistics on exposure to population
– Noise assessment for future traffic flow conditions predicted for transport projects such as road widening, speed change or road network expansion
– Review and assessment of noise environment with short turnaround time
– Design and comparison of different mitigation measures e.g. noise barrier, and their comparison
– 3D presentation of noise assessment results enabling public engagement
6. What noise sources does ODEN support?
ODEN currently supports modelling of transport noise sources (i.e. road and railway noise), industrial noise sources and, upon request and discussion, aircraft noise sources.
7. What noise regulations and methodologies does ODEN support?
ODEN currently support the following International noise standards and methodologies:
Interim Method combinations including GBTT/ISO9613
– ECAC Doc 29
Other regulations can be incorporated upon request and the system is Harmonoise ready.
8. Who are ODEN’s customers?
Current ODEN customers include Government environmental agencies, Housing Departments, Environmental Research Centres, Educational Institutions and Environmental Consultants.
9. How can ODEN be acquired for use?
ODEN can be purchased or subscribed to. Platform purchase gives more control of ownership and guarantee of network bandwidth whereas subscription gives business and budget flexibility for on-demand accessibility and usage.
For more information, please contact NGIS or our resellers.
10. We are an Engineering company with not many people with strong acoustics and GIS knowledge. Can we still use ODEN?
This is in fact a key problem where ODEN can really assist. This is because ODEN utilises a turnkey concept and approach whereby a pre-built dataset and optimized parameters will come with the system when it is deployed. Thus, there is no need for our customers to collect, input and massage the basic data before the system can be used. Further, the operation of ODEN is simple. A typical workflow will involve three steps of project creation, refinement of site/model and then running the calculation and reviewing the result.
ODEN does not require our customers to have high literacy in acoustics, IT or GIS. Hence, apart from environmental consultants, ODEN will suit the use of generalists, environmental practitioners or other professionals such as planners, architects, transport engineers etc. ODEN can also be rapidly deployed.
11. We have a number of in-house systems, some of which may hold the information required for noise assessment. In this case, how can ODEN be used?
In a nutshell, ODEN is a web-based application that utilises web service architecture. Thus, it can integrate smoothly with other spatial data servers and system. This includes common system such as ArcGIS server, GeoMedia, Oracle and any WFS-T capable spatial data servers.
12. Apart from noise, our company does assessment for other pollutants like air, water and waste. So, how can ODEN fit into that to meet our comprehensive assessment needs?
Though ODEN is primarily a transport noise assessment platform, it also supports air pollution modelling using MISKAM and AUSTAL based air pollution sub-modules. Projects to include water pollution modelling and flood analysis are underway. This is attributable to ODEN’s extensible architecture and it’s capability of handling varied and massive data sets combined with the fact that most types of modelling requires common components such as digital terrain models and built environment models.
For more information, please contact NGIS or our resellers.
13. What is the pre-requisite to run ODEN?
The basic or minimum requirements for a client computer to run ODEN are:
Intel Pentium IV 2.4GHz
– 2GB RAM
– 10GB free disk spaces
– DirectX 9.0c and OpenGL 2.0 compliant graphics card with 512MB video memory
– 1024 x 768 @ 32 bit screen resolution
– Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 (Both 32-bit and 64-bit)
– Java JRE 1.6 update 20 or above
– Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or above
– FireFox 3.5 or above
14. Can we trial the system?
Yes. Some of our customers do request a trial of the platform owning to their budget availability or simply wanting to get their hands on it before their acquisition decision.
So, should there be interest, please contact NGIS or our local reseller. Normally, an agreement will be worked out and a small fee may be charged which can be credited back to a formal purchase.
15. What support and maintenance options exist for ODEN?
Annual support and maintenance services are available to customers who have purchased or subscribe to ODEN. Though this is optional, customers are strongly encouraged to opt in and enjoy specifics as described below and the value-added benefit of being part of the ODEN community.
ODEN’ support and maintenance services include email support, minor upgrades when enhancements are introduced, major platform version upgrades as well as data update if required. The rare case these are required, patches fixing any known issues are provided. In addition, given the growing customer number, there is now an ODEN community established. Purchased customers will automatically become premier grade community members where they will have a stronger say and can also suggest and vote for any enhancements that will fit their requirements better. For more information on this, please contact NGIS or our local resellers.