The development, update and use of sound maps for the monitoring of environmental interest areas is addressed in this work. Sound maps constitute a valuable tool for environmental monitoring. They rely on networks of microphones distributed over the area of interest to record and process signals, extract and characterize sound events and finally form the map; time constraints are imposed by the need for timely information representation. A stepwise methodology is proposed and a series of practical considerations are discussed to the end of obtaining a multi-layer sound map that is periodically updated and visualizes the sound content of a “scene”. Alternative time-frequency based features are investigated as to their efficiency within the framework of a hierarchical classification structure.
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