Water tide monitoring

One of the location where Divirod Sensors are installed © Francesca Occhi for Fondazione Giorgio Cini
One of the Divirod Sensors installed on the San Giorgio Maggiore Island © Francesca Occhi for Fondazione Giorgio Cini
Monitoring the tides with Divirod from Fondazione Giorgio Cini

2021 – ongoing

In the context of the monitoring of San Giorgio Island and its nearby waters, considering how relevant water and tides are for this environment, ARCHiVe started to collaborate with Divirod installing the first DiviSense.


  • Massimo Altieri | Fondazione Giorgio Cini
  • Nicolas Béliard | Factum Foundation
  • Adam Lowe | Factum Foundation
  • Javier Marti | Divirod Inc.

the project

Following a radio programme on the ARCHiVe project, discussing the digitisation of the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice (The World, September 2020), Factum Foundation was contacted by Divirod, a tech start-up from Boulder, Colorado, dedicated to water infrastructures and water analytics.

Divirod has developed a passive radar sensor that uses satellites and locally recorded data to generate accurate hydrological models. The software transforms harmonic resonances into dynamic representations of tide, wave activity and wind speed to predict erosion and flooding.

In the context of documenting and monitoring San Giorgio Island and its adjacent waters, ARCHiVe initiated a collaboration with Divirod and installed the first Divirod sensor (DiviSense) to monitor water levels and natural changes on and around the island.

The advanced sensor installed in Venice detects the unique signature of satellite signals bouncing off the water of the Lagoon. This provides a local, accurate and dynamic image of the relationship between a fixed point on the land and the water. The data is uploaded to the cloud in real-time, where machine learning software developed by Divirod compiles and processes it. The accurate hydrological models generated from the harmonic recordings are used to create constantly updating representations of the tide, wave activity and wind speed, to predict erosion and flooding and the data could be accessible in real-time on desktop and mobile devices.

As more sensors are installed, the greater our understanding of the relationship between the land and the water: a slow-moving but still dynamic body, versus a very dynamic fluid that is animated by many forces, from gravity and wind to speedboats. Therefore, a second sensor was installed in February 2022 on the north-eastern point of the island.

Dockyard of San Giorgio Maggiore Island © Francesca Occhi for Fondazione Giorgio Cini


DiviSense is a radar sensor that, through GPS technology, collects data in order to create accurate hydrological models. The sensor takes advantage of the hundreds of satellites that are already up in the sky. Each satellite emits a signal that bounces on Earth and resonates differently from surface to surface, including water. Divirod uses a machine learning algorithm to decode this signal in order to obtain precise information about the percentage of water found by the signal. In this way the radars on San Giorgio Island are creating a model of tides and water movements around the Fondazione, forecasting live data accessible from desktop and mobile.


The aim is to further investigate the interplay between land and water, so characteristic of the cultural heritage of Venice.