Road quality DIY heatmap

Cheap DIY Road Quality Monitoring

Bratislava is well-known for its bad roads. Potholes, cheap asphalt, pools of water slowly evaporating after the rains.

As I am a cyclist I have been thinking about how to cheaply evaluate road quality here.

And my idea is this cheap DIY solution:

You will need a mobile phone (or any other sound recorder) and a GPS logger. Sound (or rather noise) recorder will be recording “bumps” – noisy parts of the road – and a GPS logger will help you synchronize noise with location.

Sound recorder should be placed inside a plastic box, where it will freely move (and jump if road quality worsens).

Road quality evaluation – recorded waverform / noise example:

Road quality cheap DIY evaluation

Road quality cheap DIY evaluation

After matching noise recording with GPS log, you can create a road quality heatmap such as this:

Road quality DIY heatmap

Road quality DIY heatmap

Strong noise translates into red and means road of very bad quality. Quiet recording or no noise translates to green and means road of very good quality with smooth surface. An average bumpy road is orange.

  • AIF
  • dusoft

    Yes, an accelerometer is another solution, but it requires a smartphone. Mine works with any combination such as dumb phone and a GPS logger or smartphone itself without any app. But of course, it requires further fiddling after the data collection.

  • Roland Romano

    what a sweet idea! i thought of an accelerometer instantly but your Idea is so much more usable …
    thanks, we would like to this also in Vienna, if it’s available :)
    best wishes

  • dusoft

    well, it’s just an idea, so i don’t have a working setup for this. but you can try to put this together.