Light pollution is a major issue which concerns not only astronomers and stargazers, but has serious impacts on the environment and human health.
The BMP project is an initiative founded in early 2008, by Francesco Giubbilini Francesco and Andrea Giacomelli, two environmental engineers with Tuscan roots, aimed at collecting data on light pollution by non-professionals as a form of environmental awareness raising.
Ordinary citizens, families, and schools can participate. The project also has a scientific aspect, as it allows the collection of valuable data, using a tool, called Sky Quality Meter, which has been on the market for a couple of years now.
Measurements can be collected with a user’s instrument, or borrowing one from the BMP group, and subsequently uploaded to the BMP web site.
In addition to collecting new measurements, the BMP team takes care of:
- Producing educational material (videos, tutorials, installations, etc.)
- Holding conferences for both children and adults
- Managing the project website and related web resources
- Managing the database and the map where data is loaded (with support by Luca Delucchi)
- Communicate to disseminate our project
The data uploaded on the BMP web site can then be viewed and downloaded freely (data are available under the Open DataBase Licence). Other contents produced by the BMP team are released under a CC BY-NC-SA license. Furthermore, free and open source geospatial technologies are used for the database and the web mapping engine.
The project has generated considerable interest at national level, among other things, winning an award for innovation in early 2009 and receiving a diverse media coverage.
The BMP project is interested in:
- Extending our network of contacts and consolidating existing ones
- Proceeding with measurement campaigns in targeted areas of special natural interest
- Improving the usability and quality of the web site and of the database
- Identifying funding for a more structured implementation of some parts of the BMP sytem and process.
Stefano Costa is the coordinator of the Working Group on Open Data in Archaeology at the Open Knowledge Foundation.
When he's not busy with the OKFN, he's doing a PhD in Late Antique Archaeology at the University of Siena.