I've been trying to do a noise pollution map, and I really don't know where to start with the information I have. The end result needs to be like in the link below.

I've seen the question, Creating noise maps using ArcGIS for Desktop or Open Source Desktop GIS? but it doesn't give an accurate metod, and I don't know how to go about it. I've searched for weeks and weeks now about a simple method, and I'm none the wiser.

Data I have:

  • parameter - speed (roads)
  • environments (hard ground=lakes and soft ground= grassland)
  • sound data i.e. dB accounting to number of vehicles

What are the tools I can use in ArcGIS for Desktop to achieve a map like the link above?

I only have access to ArcGIS for Desktop.


We used SPreAD-GIS to model outdoor sound for our 500+ sq mi siren system build as detailed in this ArcNews article. I used SPreAD-GIS with some extensive modifications to allow it to do parallel processing and in_memory datasets (takes a long time to process 200 sirens over 500 sq mi otherwise).

This requires Spatial Analyst and a version of ArcGIS that is 9.3.1 or higher. (I have used SPreAD-GIS with ArcGIS 10.0 and 10.1.)

But... spatial analyst is used for Euclidean distance calculations and cost path calculations which can be done easily with numpy. All the other calculations are simple raster algebra that can be done with numpy as well.

If you do not have access to the Spatial Analyst extension or are not comfortable with python, this is not really an option. But if you are, you can readily adopt this model.

  • Thank you @blord-castillo so much for the SPreAD toolbox. I'll give it a try, even though Python is not my very strong side, but I'm o.k with Spatial Analyst. – Gunnar Sep 23 '13 at 8:22

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