Operational perspectives on protection and promotion of the night sky after the Capraia International Symposium – a report on the March 13, 2019 Workshop in Florence, Italy

For more information: bmp@pibinko.org or +393317539228

One of the views from the Osservatorio Ximeniano

On March 13, 2019, in the stunning set of the Osservatorio Ximeniano in Florence (the first astronomical observatory in the city, founded in 1756), a workshop was organized by the Institute of Biometeorology of the National Research Council, the Department of Biology from the University of Pisa, and the BuioMetria Partecipativa project from the pibinko.org network. The topic of the workshop was the definition of common operational perspectives on protection and promotion of night skies, following the international symposium held on the island of Capraia (Tuscany) in September, 2018 (a report on the symposium is available).

The workshop was primarily intended as a follow-up for attendees of the Capraia event, together with other subjects collaborating with the organizers, in order to further consolidate a national interdisciplinary working group active in monitoring, outreach and promotion of dark-sky areas. In addition to direct collaborators of the organizing institutions, the event saw the participation of Regional Enviromental Protection Agencies from Veneto, Piemonte, Emilia Romagna, and Liguria, plus other experts from Regione Emilia-Romagna.

Each participant had the possibility of giving a presentation in the first part of the workshop. Key talks were proposed by:

Andrea Giacomelli, MS in Environmental Engineering and PhD, animating since 2008 BuioMetria Partecipativa as the flagship project in a framework of various initiatives for protection and promotion of lesser known resources in the fields of culture, environment, and open innovation (supported by the pibinko.org network):

Luciano Massetti, MS in electronic engineering and senior technologist at CNR IBIMET, with a strong track record in environmental monitoring and education, active since 2014 on activities concerning artificial light at night:


Andrea Bertolo, MS in Physics, managing the light pollution section of the Veneto Regional Environmental Protection Agency, presenting their regional network for night sky quality measurements, used both for monitoring and scientific research.


Elena Maggi, MS in Biology, researcher with the Dept. of Biology at the University of Pisa, active since 2015 on projects concerning the effects of artificial light at night on marine micro-organisms.



Luca Delucchi, MS in Geography, and author of the BuioMetria Partecipativa web map in 2008, since then a researcher at the Edmund Mach Foundation in Trento, specialized in geographic information systems and remote sensing.


The afternoon part of the workshop was dedicated to brainstorming and outlining key activies. During the coming few weeks the working group, in collaboration with some subject who could not physically be in Florence, but expressed their interest in participating in this effort, will proceed to define a set of joint actions on the topic of promotion and protection of the night sky.

The working group at the end of their day at the Osservatorio Ximeniano, not counting a couple of participants who needed to leave earlier (and Federico Giussani, the author of the shots in this report, also specialized in nightscape photography).

We thank Fondazione Osservatorio Ximeniano for hosting the workshop (and you can check out some indoor details of the anciente observatory dome from the image above).

For more information: bmp@pibinko.org or +393317539228

Let’s reschedule elections in the EU (and in over 3800 Italian municipalities) for SOD19

The digital community known as “Spaghetti Open Data” (also identified as SOD) gathers with a mailing list several hundreds of Italian experts and activists who care about the promotion and the value chain of Open Data (“dati aperti”) in Italy, to the benefit of citizens, administrations, and enterprises.

Over the past years the community has added to a lot of online debate also physical gatherings, which have their paramount event in a three-day meet up. This has been held in the past in Bologna, Trento, and Palermo, and is scheduled for this year for May 24-25-26 in Milano. These dates happen to overlap with the elections for the European parliament, plus administrative voting for over 3800 municipalities in Italy (almost 50% of the country, by number of entities), thus impacting the grand finale of the SOD event.

The most obvious solution is to reschedule the date of these elections.

If in Pisa we have a leaning tower, and it is possible to walk on a rainbow, possibly this feat is not out of our reach, and you too can support it. Select your preferred date for the election from this doodle poll:


The dates which you will find in the above link have been proposed by a panel of experts in election dates, coordinated by Rocco Colangelo from the pibinko.org network (active since 1994 in the use and promotion of free and open software, data, and funky music).

As a second option, there is a possibility of considering for the May 26 agenda of SOD19 session dedicated to open data for the stateless.

Contacts: info@pibinko.org

M’illumino di meno 2019 is also in San Vincenzo (Tuscany) with BuioMetria Partecipativa

M’illumino di meno is a format created in 2005 by the famous radio show Caterpillar, aired by RAI Radio 2 to raise awareness on environmental sustainability, inviting activists, institutions and businesses to organize events on the same day (the Friday between end of February and early Marchh) to engage citizens with presentations, performances and other activities..

In this context On Friday, March 1st. 2019 the Municipality of San Vincenzo, Tuscany, will host in their premises of “La Torre”, the tower facing the marina (Piazza d’Italia 7) a presentation by the BuioMetria Partecipativa (i.e. participatory night sky quality monitoring) project. This was started in 2008 in Southern Tuscany as an environmental outreach and a citizen science initiative for the protection and promotion of night sky, and the mitigation of light pollution.

This is not the first time for BuioMetria Partecipativa in San Vincenzo: our first event was in September 2017, followed by two more in 2018. The March 2019 presentation, however, will be a substantially revamped event. This is due to new interesting developments for the project, deriving from new national and international connections in the areas of research and community engagement. Also, we will be considering the topic of circular economy, which this year has been suggested as a key subject from the M’illumino di meno team.

Federico Giussani (L) and Andrea Giacomelli (R) during a night sky brightness measurement demonstrations with a sky quality meter (renamed “buiometro” for the Italian audience).

On Friday, March 1st in San Vincenzo the speakers/performers will be: Andrea Giacomelli, MS and PhD, creator and coordinator of the BMP project, Federico Giussani, professional nightscape photographer, and Simone Sandrucci, lead guitar for Etruschi from Lakota, and active with Giacomelli in the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band project, doing scientific and cultural outreach merged with rock blues music.

Simone Sandrucci, one of the lead musicians for the BuioMetria Partecipativa soundtrack with Etruschi from Lakota and the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band.

The March 1st event is following an interesting micro-exhibition held in Florence last week, where BuioMetria Partecipativa had various opportunities for visibility in relation to TourismA (a national fair on cultural and archaeological tourism). Furthermore, the Friday presentation is a precursor to an event which will be held in Tatti, a hamlet in the area of Massa Marittima (not too far from San Vincenzo, but inland), where the same team will be holding an event within the ninth International Open Day.

All these activities fall in the framework of a series of initiatives for the protection and promotion of lesser known assets in the fields of culture, environment and open innovation, developed by the pibinko.org network since 2007, with a base in Southern Tuscany, and interesting relations outside of the region (please check out http://www.pibinko.org)

For more information and contacts: bmp@pibinko.org or +39 331 7539 228

Come to Tatti (Southern Tuscany) for the metalliferous version of the 2019 International Open Data Day

The Open Data Day is an international event, in its ninth edition, celebrating open data, and its meaning for governments, business, and society all over the world. If this sounds a bit geeky, consider that many public bodies have adopted for some years now open data policies, and that the private sector is not ignoring the topic. You may also check out this short video for an introduction to the topic (and to have a peek of Tatti in the first seconds).

Pibinko.org uses free/open-source software since 1994, and is actively promoting it since 2004 . In 2008 pibinko.org also started promoting open data, either by promoting specific OpenStreetMap initiatives (such as the m(‘)appare Milano) project, or by producing videos and other communication on this topic (or both).

M(‘)appare Milano, episode 1, Apr. 6, 2008

Also in 2008, the network started creating original data sets. First with the citizen science campaigns on night sky quality with BuioMetria Partecipativa (2009), then, in collaboration with various amateur astronomic observatories, with the creation of the Italian network for light pollution data collection (CORDILIT, since 2011). Our array of data grew then in 2014 with the Farma Valley Community Map, which was cited last year in a Worlb Bank report among 50 best practices of re-use of governmental data by local communities.
The bottom-up place name mapping is the story which pibinko.org proposes also in the 2019 edition of the Open Data Day, adding a new venue, following the Open Data Days in Piloni (2013) and Scansano-Torniella-Castelnuovo Val di Cecina (2017).

The first Tatti Community Map meetup (Dec. 14, 2018)

You can join us on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 6.00PM in Tatti (Southern Tuscany), this is the part of the metalliferous hills where you can see the sun set behind the Elba Island. The meetup will be at the “circolino”, a small community center, where we will continue to interview and digitizing work started last December in the Third Farma Valley Winter Fest. There is a geographic link between the Farma Valley and Tatti, since the Farma creek originates in fact just North of Tatti, very close to where the locals work and operate (in addition to personal relationships between these communities, encouraging us to merge these two maps).

For more information: info@pibinko.org o +3317539228

View Larger Map

What is a drummer and PhD in Hydrology doing in Florence selling archaeological tourism destinations?


Jack O’Malley, drummer and scientific director of the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band, at the end of the preparation of the pibinko.org seller table at the “Buy Cultural Tourism” session at TourismA, the national fair of cultural and archaeological tourism.

To appreciate what a percussionist and PhD in hydrology is doing by selling archaeological tourism destinations in Florence, you may read the English version of the press release from which an article from Il Tirreno Grosseto edition was derived on Feb 21, 2019. Or you may give five minutes of your time to browse random sections of the pibinko.org site.

Kudos to the Comité Régional de Tourisme Nouvelle-Aquitaine for the picture, and to Colangelo for the assistance in setting up the set.

Last but not least, do not forget the aperitivo-jams session with the Farma Valley and Friends micro-museum. This is organized by pibinko.org in collaboration with Hotel Lombardi, via Fiume 8, Florence, and will be on Saturday, Feb. 23, from 6PM to 8PM (a reservation is needed to info@pibinko.org or +393317539228)

All the beauties of the Farma Valley will be showcased in Florence (Il Tirreno, Grosseto Edition, Feb. 21, 2019)

The article elaborates on a post I published on Feb 18, 2019: Florence, Feb 22-24, 2019, Hotel Lombardi: Culture, Environment, and Open Innovation from the Farma Valley and friends.

The photo is actually a shot I made in Dec. 2016, just before the first Farma Valley Winter Fest. The view is from Piloni, looking North, with Torniella in the middle, and some power or telecom lines in the image.

The branobag: what is it?

“branobag” is the title a gave to a column initially part of my informal blog, and since 2019 integrated in the official site.

In these articles, which are also sent via e-mail to a selected number of subscribers, I propose a song, often the translation of the lyrics in Italian and in the original language of the song, maybe a photo, and a comment.

Currently the branobags are published only in the Italian version of the pibinko.org site (but you can still enjoy the music and learn some Italian through the translations of the lyrics).