All posts by pibinko

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 site (but you can still enjoy the music and learn some Italian through the translations of the lyrics).

Support to Legislation and Policy Making

Since 2004 I have periodically participated to initiatives or actual projects related to the definition of policies and regulations at different territorial scales.

Local (municipal) level

I attended various participatory design initiatives related to environmental or land planning issues in Cagliari (Sardinia), Gavorrano, Scarlino, and Roccastrada (Tuscany). Since 2004.

In 2015, in my role as president, I attended the definition of the participatory budget for the town of Grosseto (capital of Southern Tuscany). Here I presented a proposal for the protection and promotion of nightscapes, oriented to benefits for citizens.

Local (province) scale

In 2009 I participated as an expert to the public review of the tender subsequently issued by the Province of Grosseto for the co-funding of a science and technology park on mechanics. This is active since 2016 in Cinigiano, Southern Tuscany.

In 2011 I took part in a participatory design workshop called “Chiamati in causa per investire” (i.e. “Called to invest”). This was proposed by the Province of Grosseto for the prioritisation of about 40 MEUR of public spending. Out of various ideas and proposal recored during the workshops, in the final session of the event one of the rapporteurs mentioned palla a 21 and buiometria partecipativa)

Local (regional) scale

In collaboration with Francesco Giubbilini, based on the BuioMetria Partecipativa project, we participated in 2012 to the public consultation concerning the revision of Tuscany’s Environment and Energy master plan. We provided eight comments, four of which were accepted. Among others, the plan acknowledges night sky as a resource for tourism and environment.

National scale

I was invited to take part in the drafting of part of a national law (however I could not participated due to technical issues)

European Union scale

In 2010 I was part of a European Commission working group for a workshop on EU policies on the Digital Earth initiative. The ideas defined in this workshop have been consolidated in an article on “A European perspective on Digital Earth“.

In 2011 I was invited at a workshop jointly organized by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and NASA for the ideas on key areas for research funding (Socio-economic Benefits from the use of Earth Observation). On that specific occasion I proposed a presentation called “Accounting for People in Earth Observation – Some Experiences from Italy” . The workshop proceedings are available.

Between April 2012 and October 2012 I was appointed as the facilitator for a working group of five experts for the creation of the data specifications for the “Production and Industrial Facilities” theme (Annex III of the European INSPIRE Directive on spatial data infrastructures).

Global scale

In 2015 I was selected as one of the Italian citizens for a meeting leading the collection of ideas to be reported to the Italian government for the definition of the COP15 Paris agenda. Namely, I attended the meeting in Florence.

Music and Rhymes


updated Sep. 2018

Music (and rhymes) not just as a form of entertainment, but to convey environmental and land planning issues.


2000- to date: photo sets of live shows (up to 2006 and after 2006

2012- to date: daily posts on music with the Branobag and Bosco Riserva

2010-2014: design, development, and maintenance (including a weekly newsletter) for the LO-FI club in Milano

2011 e 2015: Presenter for the musical afternoons of the May 1st celebrations in Piloni-Torniella (typical attendance: 500 people), introducing seven bands in 2011 and four in 2015

2006 – to date: production of musical videos, or videos with live soundtracks (typically from lesser known bands, buskers, etc.).

Since 2006: composition of rhymes (normally improvised, mostly in Italian, but occasionally in English)

2012: Collaboration for the 100th anniversary of the Torniella Philarmonic Band (with the creation of the digital archive for the band, and other promotional material)

2005 – Organization of two concerts for the Nema Problema Orkestar (Milan and Massa Marittima, Tuscany)

2009 – New Year’s Eve party in piazza del Popolo in Torniella, with the Fabulous Filters (psycho garage rock from Anzano del Parco, Como)

2011 – Teleporting Ottava Rima poets, tenores di Orgosolo and other Sardinian poets in his grandma’s living room in Scansano, Southern Tuscany

2012 – New Year’s Eve party in Torniella, with Hardisco (leading to five more concerts in the area during the following year

2014 Ottava Rima workshop in Grosseto (link in Italian)

2015 Ottava rima workshop in a confidential location (link in Italian)

2016 – Booked date for De’ Soda Sisters in Palazzetto (Chiusdino, Southern Tuscany)

2016 – Creator and manager of the Farma Valley Winter Fest, with five live sets in three days

2017 – Geomatics and music poster at the FOSS4G-IT conference in Genova, Italy, including live show

2017 – Jam session after the International Open Data Day in Castelnuovo Val di Cecina, Tuscany

2017 – International webinar on open-source geomatics, environment, and music

2018 – Etruschi & Friends Country Session at the White Rabbit Hole in Tuscany

2018 – launch of the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band


This is a term I created in 2008 to encompass the ideas of mapping and beholding. In Italian mappare means “to map” and m’appare “something appears to me”.

As far as I know, the term m(‘)appare was proposed for the first time by myself in March 2008, during the launch of the  M(‘)appare Milano, mapping campaign, when I was collaborating with (the Italian chapter of the Open Soruce Geospatial Consortium).

This term was created to have a localized version of the “mapping parties” held by the OpenStreetMap community and which in Italy had previously taken place in  Alto Adige,  Pavia and Arezzo.

The Italian free/open mapping community liked the term and the concept of m(‘)appare, and re-used this with on m(‘)appare, Ferrara, Portofino, Verona, and Mounte Antola, near to Genova.

I also had several opportunities to present and debate the ideas related to m(‘)appare in various events (Creative Commons Festival Parma, Politecnico ed Ecomuseo Urbano Milano Nord a Milano, IUAV Venezia, GRASS meeting Lugano, GFOSS Day Bolzano). As a sidebar action, videos and rhymes related to m(‘)appare appeared (Riflessioni sul tema(tismo)  , Allora vi faccio vedere come ho fatto, Pressioni di Settembre e Renato lo Scienziato).

Not just geomatics processes and points of interest

After a first phase of m(‘)appare, mostly focused on geomatics and digital land maps, the topic became broader, and we started talking about mapping the upper half of the landscape (i.e. the night sky), leading to the BuioMetria Partecipativa. project on participatory monitoring of light pollution.

Eventually we started to use the term m(‘)appare non just with reference to things and places, but also to people (e.g. the  m(‘)appare Maurizio Bacci event during the Farma Valley Winter Fest in December 2016).

In a nutshell

As we can see it after ten years, the scope of m(‘)appare is on engaging people to see things or places with a bottom-up approach, focusing mostly in things and places which are not very known.

The two main m(‘)appare initiatives to date are:

More info:







Florence, Feb 22-24, 2019, Hotel Lombardi: Culture, Environment, and Open Innovation from the Farma Valley and friends

NB: Participation to the event is free, but given the limited space and the possibility of “jazz improvisation” in parts of the schedule please write in advance to or +393317539228 to let us know when you may show up.

The network, in collaboration with Hotel Lombardi is organizing on Feb 22, 23, and 24 a set of experiences in Florence which will introduce you to a lesser known group of subjects operating since 2007 via the integration of rural issues, social innovation, communication technologies, and art.

If all this sounds strange, you can start “The Seeker” by the Who,
Vedi cara” by Francesco Guccini, or Supermarket covered by the Metalliferous Hills ione della Jug Band dalle Colline Metallifere. Once the soundtrack is running, you can visit random sections of the site, with news, project summaries, media coverage and more. Or you can give ten minutes of your time to read the network 2018 activity summary (see link).

Radio Popolare Milano, May 2015

This is not the first time that we are showing up in Florence. With some 130 presentations since 2008, we counted six or seven between Fortezza da Basso, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, the Oblate Library, and the Casa della Creatività. However, this is the first time we will be bringing products, offers of services, and people to represent them.

The breakfast room at Hotel Lombardi will become the set for a “micro-museum” with articles and works kindly lent by different subjects, listed below in stream of consciousnessmode:

Antica falegnameria di Roberto Serragli, Scalvaia (SI), Birrificio 26 Nero, Poggibonsi (born in Scalvaia), B.M. Mechanical Works, Torniella (GR), Pietro Crivelli painter, decorator, and guitarist from Piloni (but born in Florence), Az. Agricola Ixtlan (Tatti, GR), Az. Agricola Pacha Mama (Tatti, GR), Farma Valley and Tatti community maps, citizen science with BuioMetria Partecipativa, Picasso Viaggi (Venturina Terme), palla a 21 (o palla eh!), the game of panforte, the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band, IRIS Ambiente from S. Casciano V.P., hand-made prints and bread by Tattistampa, Etruschi from Lakota, Tana del Bianconiglio, Az. Agricola Loriano Bartoli (Pian d’Alma, Scarlino), Fabio Bettio from the Centre for Research, Development, and Advanced Studies in Sardinia, Bar Moderno Roccastrada, ASD Boxing Club Firenze.

Pietro Crivelli, M’Illumino di Meno 2017 a Gerfalco (Foto di Federico Giussani)

A “linear” version  of the same items will be the core of the presence during the fifth edition of TourismA . This is a national exhibition about archaeologic and cultural tourism, being held in the same days at the Florence Convention Centre. On the morning of Friday 22 will attend as a seller the “Buy Cultural Tourism” B2B session. On Saturday afternoon, will represent the network in a session on community-based management of cultural heritage. With these subjects, since 2007 we have been working to promote and protect various lesser know assets, leading to interesting results in the combination of socio-economic impact, media coverage, and international research and technology transfer collaborations.

Babbo Natale legge uno degli articoli sulle nostre storie (dicembre 2016).

The most progressive part of the event will in fact be held outside of TourismA, at Hotel Lombardi. This is run by Vincenzo and Valeria Albanese, originally from Torniella (one of the villages involved in our network), and is just a few steps away from the Florence Convention Centre. The hotel will serve for a couple of days as a demonstration and tasting space, allowing the public to learn about a series of experiences and subjects which are very difficult to meet, unless you are willing to dedicate several full days to explore a remote part of Tuscany (having in parallel the possibility of learning about connections of these places to Sardinia, Milano, free-open source geomatics and rock blues).

This initiative is intended to re-propose in Florence the third Farma Valley Winter Fest, held on Dec. 14-15-16 2019 in Tatti, Piloni, Torniella, and Scalvaia, integrating it with the presence of additional subjects from the Florence area.

Below is a schedule summarizing options to make contact with the network.

  • Fri. 22: PM in the TourismA space. Evening: Hotel Lombardi
  • Sat. 23: until 6PM in the TourismA space. From 6PM to 8PM at Hotel Lombardi, with some tasting of typical Southern Tuscany products (reservation required at or +393317539228 ).
  • Sun. 24: in the TourismA premises or at Hotel Lombardi

Participation to the event is free, but given the limited space and the possibility of “jazz improvisation” in parts of the schedule please write in advance to or +393317539228 to let us know when you may show

On the right side of this poster, a version of the network story as of February 2017, at the FOSS4G-IT conference in Genova.