Automated noise modelling using a triangulated terrain model

N. Hobeika, L.N. van Rijssel, M.K. Prusti, C.J.T. Dinklo, D. Giannelli, B. Dukai, Arnaud Kok, Rob van Loon, René Nota, J.E. Stoter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Noise simulations are an important part of noise studies that investigate the impact of noise sources on the environment. In noise simulation, noise levels at receiver points are calculated based on the noise propagation paths between the receiver and source points. These paths are derived from the height of the terrain. In current calculation approaches implemented in noise simulation software, 3D polylines are used as input to describe the height of the terrain. These 3D polylines are semi-automatically generated to meet the highly demanding computing performance of simulation software. In addition, previous research showed that the reconstruction of appropriate height lines as used in noise simulation is very difficult to automate, if not impossible As a solution, this research investigates how noise propagation paths between receiver and source points can directly be generated from a Triangulate Irregular Network (TIN) without creating the height lines. This would allow us to use the automatically generated TIN as input for noise simulation instead of the height lines. In addition, a TIN enables better control of the quality of the data than height lines do. This study uses the 3D noise modeling guidelines of Common Noise Assessment Methods in Europe (CNOSSOS-EU). Algorithms have been developed and implemented in a prototype to generate and validate the paths between receiver and source points using a TIN that includes the buildings as well as the noise absorption properties of the terrain. The prototype is successfully tested on two scenarios from the Netherlands. Since CNOSSOS-EU guidelines were used, the prototype is applicable to the entire European Union and can be the first step in improving the automation of 3D noise modeling using currently available techniques and data.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalGeo-Spatial Information Science
Publication statusPublished - 2023


This research received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation Programme [grant agreement no. 677312 UMnD: Urban modeling in higher dimensions].


  • Noise modelling
  • geomatics
  • TIN
  • CNOSSOS EU Directive on Noise Assessment
  • 3D urban applications


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