DEFROST: predicting the feasibility of outdoor activities

All projects, Ongoing projects


Just in Switzerland, more than 15% of ski resorts are not considered to be snow-reliable anymore, a figure likely to increase to 37% by 2030-2050. This trend offers new possibilities for other activities like hiking and biking for longer time spans over the year, as a profitable alternative for ski tourism in affected areas. However, the current lack of detailed information about the presence or absence of snow results in substantially reduced tourist numbers and high levels of incertitude and economic losses throughout the entire year.

By automatically analysing the snow cover product over any trail, and combining with topographical and meteorological data, DeFROST (Detailed and Fast Remote Observation of Snow for Tourism) will provide the user actionable information on whether the trail can be safely undertaken or not for a projected activity on a present or future date. In order to achieve such goal, it aims at setting up the first Internet API for querying past, present or future snow cover on any coordinate on Earth, with potential applications outside the Tourism Industry itself.

Key benefits

  • Decreased uncertainty and increased reliability when planning any outdoors activity for a future date, i.e. for tourists, agencies, event managers, clubs or associations
  • Increased ROI on promotion efforts and diversification for Tourism Offices, Ski Resorts and other actors in the industry, due to targeted, reactive marketing campaigns and flexible season dates based on the actual status on the field
  • Increased safety in the practice of outdoor sports. As a key fact, 18% of accidents in the Swiss Alps occur on snow covered terrain (e.g. falls provoked by slippery snow)
  • Unprecedented instant and programmatic access to snow cover data enabling businesses in meteorology, water management and other industries
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