SIMILE (Informative System for the Integrated Monitoring of Insubric Lakes and their Ecosystems)

Created Sept. 30, 2020, 8:52 a.m.
Updated Sept. 30, 2020, 8:52 a.m.

SIMILE (Informative System for the Integrated Monitoring of Insubric Lakes and their Ecosystems) is a recently started three years project financed by the Interreg Italy-Switzerland 2014-2021 program. It involves partners from the scientific and technical sector (Politecnico di Milano – Lecco Campus; Fondazione Politecnico; Water Research Institute - National Research Council; SUPSI - University of Applied Sciences and Arts of; Southern Switzerland) and from the institutional sector (Lombardy Region; Ticino Canton) working in synergy. Its monitoring system strongly benefits the information derived from the analysis of Sentinel 2 and Sentinel 3 imagery, in situ authoritative data plus high frequency sensors placed on buoys, and user-contributed georeferenced data, produced with a Citizen Science approach. A Business Intelligence (BI) platform, i.e. a web data-driven decision support system, will allow the integration, analysis, and synthesis of the information derived from these different types of data. Regarding the citizen science approach, the project has recently developed a free and open source cross-platform mobile App (SIMILE-Lakes Monitoring), where volunteers are asked to upload georeferenced photographs and eventually descriptive tags and measurements related to lakes quality (e.g. presence of algae, foams, litters or measures of transparency, temperature, pH). It also works as a collector of public events related to lake preservation (mapathons, clean-ups), as direct way of communication between authorities and citizens and as an educational tool to increase citizens' awareness on lake ecosystem.


SIMILE (Informative System for the Integrated Monitoring of Insubric Lakes and their Ecosystems) project has for primary goal the protection of water quality for the insubric Lugano, Maggiore and Como lakes through a geoinformatic coordination of existing monitoring systems with new data collection methods. Being a project focused on a cross-border region (Italy-Switzerland), its aim fits the purpose of SDG 6 also by strenghtening their coordinated management and stakeholder participation in the processes of knowledge and monitoring of the water resource.

How to participate

Volunteers can download on their smartphones the free and open source cross-platform mobile App SIMILE-Lakes Monitoring. The interface will show a map with their georeferenced position with the possibility to upload georeferenced photographs about the lake surface in that location (valid for the insubric Como, Maggiore and Lugano lakes). Volunteers can choose the level of complexity for their upload: they can just upload georeferenced photos or they can add some textual information or even measurements of temperature or transparency. Anyone, any citizen can participate due to the very little effort required, due to the possibility to participate at any time and with no need of previous training.

Needed equipment

Private smartphone

Completed from 17/01/2019 until 16/01/2022
Earth Observation Citizen Science Environmental Monitoring Freshwater Pollution
Science Topics
Ecology & Environment Ocean, Water, Marine & Terrestrial
Participation tasks
Classification or tagging Measurement Observation Photography

Como, Lugano and Maggiore lakes

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