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.
The main project goal is the protection of water quality for Lugano, Maggiore and Como lakes through a monitoring system that integrates 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.