All posts by pibinko

“From Irredentists to Dentists”, and the first Croatian Conference on Light Pollution ( News, Jun. 17, 2019)

Header image: two globe luminaires silhouetted on the ancient walls of the village of Rab.

From June 14 to June 16 I was invited to give a presentation at the first Croatian conference on light pollution, in the stunning setting of the Rab Island, and namely in the area of Lopar. The event was triggered by the launch of a national law on light pollution, and the interest by various stakeholders to increase awareness on this topic. The invitation I had derived from various pre-existing contacts withing the BuioMetria Partecipativa project, the participation in 2013 to an international measurement campaign on the island of Lastovo, and other interconnections.

The venue of the conference in Lopar. In addition to a majority attendees from Croatia, various delegates were coming from Slovenia, Bosnia, England, and Italy. You may find a partial coverage (in Croatian) on the event from this article on Novi List.

Concerning the talk on BuioMetria Partecipativa, I provided a summary of our experiences since 2008, and our point of view on some of the light pollution issues. Such viewpoint comes from the mediation of numerous contacts with a wide range of subjects active in different roles related to artificial light at night, and light pollution research, as well as an extensive track record of community engagement initiatives, including citizen science campaign, and outreach and education events.

Furthermore, in the presentation we proposed various potential lines of collaboration between Italy, Croatia, and other countries facing the Adriatic sea, also considering the fact that the effects of artificial lighting from Italy are in many cases well detectable from the Eastern coast of the Adriatic, as documented by measurement campaign which I was invited to attend in the past in the context of European projects.

With our presence at the Lopar conference (acknowledging the organizers for their hospitality), Buiometria Partecipativa, a small bottom-up project launched in 2008 in the Farma Valley, one of the lesser known parts of Tuscany, is maintaining its commitment to represent Italy in a European context, on a topic which many people consider a niche. A niche which, however, has every day less motivations to be neglected, given the increasing sensitivity to environmental issues, and the fact that even small actions count, and can be related to strategies on a much wider scale, and with an interdisciplinary approach (which the network is quite comfortable with, anyway)

More initiatives are taking shape summing up the BuioMetria Partecipativa team and the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band , and will be announced soon. The next scheduled “situation” will be Andrea Giacomelli the the third Meet Music, a national workshop on music production in Follonica, on June 25.

For more information:

Before and after the conference…

Reaching Lopar from Southern Tuscany is a long trip. Given the interesting opportunity of the invitation for a short event, I decided to embed a “survey” campaign on the way, adopting the map(pear)ing approach. For this I needed some starting information, which materialized in the form of a book with the presentation of over 100 musicians from all over the Balkan area (and ranging East to Caucasus), and at some point a map of the country.

The stops were in Trieste (Trst), Rijeka (once Fiume) and Rab (once Arbe). For those of you receiving frequent emails with invitations to go to Croatia for dental care, I can confirm that there are a lot of facilities of this type, at least in the city. I considered that once this area was confronted by irredentists, and now, things evolved and we can find dentists. But let’s give the floor to some shots:

Trieste, the Bora museum.
Trieste, Piazza Unità d’Italia at sunset, and various types of lighting.
Trieste, a lighting globe, from below
Trieste, the city of knowledge
Rijeka, by the maritime station
Rijeka: a lot of care for important musical heritage
An Italian grammar for Croatians in 1957. Between “febbre” (fever) and “felice” (happy) we find “federativo” (federative).
The “Korzo” (main street) in Rijeka
The “parallel main street” 1
the parallel main street 2
the parallel main street, 3
Lighting in Croatia considered wrong by Slovenian experts.
The concert by and ABBA cover band which created a score for the final part of the first day of the conference (Friday evening).
Three luminaires…one off and the others with different colour temperature.
A light in an outdoor staircase (on all day long).
LED billboards
Austrian+Hungarian heritage in the harbour of Rijeka.
For Italian forty-fifty-year-old folk who didn’t know, Sandy Marton is Croatian (since I know people called Marton in Veneto, I thought he was Italian).

The Torniella, Southern Tuscany, Weather Station is online

From May 29, 2019, the weather data recorded by the station installed in Torniella on May 10, during a visit in the Farma Valley by Politecnico di Milano, are online. The networking has been collaborating with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, giving periodic talk in the Milanese university.

The basic weather data recorded are visibile in real time from the address

The station has been inserted in the meteonetwork network (it is in fact the first sensor in the Province of Grosseto to appear there). The meteonetwork page also provides archives and various reporting option.

The weather station in Torniella represents an interesting addition to other sensors and monitoring activities which the network is undertaking in the area since 2008, especially with the BuioMetria Partecipativa project and the Farma Valley Community map. In the coming months the working group, together with local businesses and associations, and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Politecnico di Milano will coordinate on definining additional uses for this new information source in the valley.

For more information: o +393317539228

BuioMetria Partecipativa is invited to showcase its activities in Croatia

The BuioMetria Partecipativa project was invited by the organizers of the first Croatian conference on light pollution to give a presentation.

The conference spawns by the increase in interest on the topic in the country, following the approval of the Croatian light pollution law in 2018 and will be held between June 14 and June 16 in Lopar, on the island of Rab.

A summary of the event will be provided after mid June.

Presentation of the Network in Brussels (May 22, 2019): How did it go?

Last Wednesday, after close-of-business on a workshop for research ethics in the Internet sector, I had the possibility of organizing a brief yet intense presentation of the network at Piola Libry, in Brussels, Belgium.

This followed our participation in early April to the final conference of the DITOs project, and various on- and off-line meetings where the network, and especially its Metalliferous Hills Jug Band version, is active on the topic of participatory investigation and community engagement.

More in general, this event was part of our line of Spring situations, which you find gradually announced on, and then documented more in detail on

A moment of the showcase-symposium-tasting event at Piola Libri.
The “experiential geographic information system” set up by pibinko for the event: this included maps of the area of interest at various scales, objects, news, and typical products, all inter-related.
A detail of the items related to the maps

More or less from left to right:

  1. A Tattistampa” business card (hand made)
  2. The Langscape article on ten years of open innovation in the Farma Valley, triggered by the palla a 21 mission to Chicago
  3. A palla a 21 o palla eh! ball
  4. Drum brushes to play with the Jug Band dalle Colline Metallifere (Metalliferous Hills Jug Band)
  5. Chioccolo built by Edo Giacomelli in the Seventies in Ribolla (Southern Tuscany)
  6. Poster for the geomusical tour of the JBCM in Germany, via Politecnico di MilanoManifesto della tournée geomusicale della Jug Band dalle Colline Metallifere in Germania via Politecnico di Milano
  7. Anoter palla a 21/palla eh! ball
  8. A buiometria partecipativa sticker
  9. Giù la testa CD by Etruschi from Lakota
  10. Mechanical parts produced by the BM factory in Torniella
  11. buiometro (sky quality meter)
  12. ruler
  13. book on Monte Cassino
  14. book on Woody Guthrie (from which Dario Canal and Mirio Tozzini produced a musical reading)
  15. shaker
  16. apricot juice by Bartoli Loriano
  17. aubergine cream with chili pepper by Bartoli Loriano
  18. article on the export version of the Farma Valley Winter Fest in Florence
  19. article on the Third Farma Valley Winter Fest
  20. Poster for the event with Politecnico di Milano in the Farma Valley (May 11, 2019)
  21. Farma Valley Community map, version 3

Not in the picture:

  1. A “panforte” (medieval cake from Siena, used to demonstrate an ancient game, andh then gobbled up by the players)
  2. Cavallucci (another medieval biscuit from the Siena area)
  3. Salame with Porcino mushroom, from Boccheggiano
  4. Pecorino cheese from Massa Marittima
  5. Less local pecorino cheese (but produced near our area)
  6. White Léllero (vermentino az. Bartoli Loriano)

It is interesting to note the evolution of the “catalog” from one event to the other (check out here what we presented in Florence at the end of February).

Putting together the map base and the thematic data, plus the personal background of the participants, we were able to draw an interesting picture, ranging from the definition of “Maremma” , to the role of Polish troops during the Monte Cassino operation, to ancient games and state-of-the-art environmental monitoring. We also had a surprise ending with some Sicilian flair.

For the musical part, in the absence of instruments, and not wanting to delve into body percussion, we showed some videos of the Jug Band dalle Colline Metallifere, also to promote the imminent tour to Milano and Germany.

Thanks to Piola Libri for hosting the event, and to Alberto B. for suggesting the location.

For more information: o 3317539228

PANELFIT Project Workshop

On May 22 I was invited as an expert in Brussels for a workshop of the PANELFIT (Participatory Approaches to a New Ethical and Legal Framework for ICT) project.

Should it sound strange that a geomatic hydrologist and drummer is called to work in this type of setting, it may help recalling that since 2000 I have been dealing periodically with personal data protection issues, either by creating and managing user surveys, running citizen science campaigns, and so forth. Summing these experiences, the project team assessed that I could provide useful inputs to their work

Here are some points of interest deriving from the network, which were included in the notes from the working groups

  • Attribution and identity as core values,
  • Citizen-based communities as additional subjects to be considered in parallel with other stakeholders, especially in relation to balancing technological priorities with social priorities.
  • As a peculiar proposal, the need to explicitly account for a relationship between urban and rural areas in the process of shaping research ethics instruments, e.g. by fostering (and sustaining) mobility of experts and legislators to rural areas during their work.

A report with the recommendations of the work will be issued in the coming months.

I thank the PANELFIT project (HORIZON 2020, N. 788039) for this opportunity. For more information

Outlined in green boxes, the items which I proposed based on the experiences (open the image to full size to read better).
This was the summary from the three different working groups. “Legislator mobility” and the “rural-cities” relationship are in among the instruments proposed by and acknowledged by the working group.

“Buiometria” is Helping to Build Dark Sky Parks

As a preview on the conference on “Interdisciplinary Protection and Promotion of the Night Sky: state of the art, action items, and visions” at the University of Brescia, we had an article on the Brescia edition of Corriere della Sera (one of the two main newspapers in Italy), including part of an interview to Andrea Giacomelli.

For more hints on the Milano-Brescia mission with Federico Giussani and Dario Canal on may 15/16 2019, please check out the “News” section on for blog posts around mid-May.