OpenStreetMap

Now mapping in Los Baños

Posted by ianlopez1115 on 6 July 2009 in English (English)

Since probably last month, I started mapping in Los Baños, Laguna, because I had to do some pre-college work (I'll be studying in the second semester). Luckily, there was time for a bit of mapping - between eight and nine in the morning and four to five in the afternoon. Little did I know (before) that Google Maps has a good coverage of the area, thanks to the MapMaker contributors. Still, that didn't stop me from mapping most of Umali Subdivision, Barangay Batong Malake (tagged as a village), and some nearby places, including the University of the Philippines - Los Baños (UPLB) campus.

From my honest opinion, Google Maps doesn't have at least 50 to 90% of the footways that I've mapped. Not only that, I am now in the process of adding nearby dormitories (with the currently “unrenderable” amenity=dormitory tag), phone boxes (or phone booths) and convenience stores. And since OSM is way behind the big G inside the UPLB campus, I've decided to add buildings, parking lots, driveways, footways, and of course, the streets. I may add some trees of historical value, but one of them is a bit controversial since intercourse happens there (and I won't go into detail, thank you). Other than that, it's just trace, trace, trace and edit, edit, edit.

Also, when I first checked the GeoFabrik Map Compare tool, the Demarses and Santa Fe subdivision streets were not displayed on the MapMaker portion (and OSM got it first). Now both maps are on "equal terms" except for Rhaminad Street within Santa Fe (which Google doesn’t have as of now). I believe it's more or less the same scenario in the places that I've been for the last 30 days or so, except for an area between the railway tracks and Bangkal Road, where I added at least two roads and a few footways and tracks.

To end this, I have talked to some barangay officials regarding the use of OpenStreetMap and its benefits. So far, I received good feedback from them. Did the same thing with the UPLB Police Force, but this part is very tricky. My question to you regarding that is this: How can the UPLB Police Force benefit from utilizing OSM? And will it help them in a good way?

And one more thing, I may have to ask the postal code boundary (separating 4030 from 4031) from the assigned mailman in the UPLB Post Office when I go back to Elbi tomorrow morning (Elbi is a shortened version of Los Baños, used by locals and students). Keep mapping and another person doesn't have to get lost, thanks to you.

Postscript: "intensive mapping" in Los Baños doesn't mean "abandoning" San Pablo City. In fact, I'm just planning another set of rides in areas yet to be specified within my home city.

Location: Batong Malake, College, Los Baños, Laguna, Calabarzon, Philippines

Comment from Harry Wood on 6 July 2009 at 12:39

Good work Ian. You're helping to build a truly free map, whilst those suckers over at MapMaker are giving their data to google.

Presumably the police force already use maps a lot, unless this is the first time anyone's created a decent street map of the city. UK police use maps in their control-centres to track units in realtime for effective emergency response. They have navigation systems in the police cars. In resource planning offices they look over maps to figure out crime hotspots etc. In the UK the police use highly details Ordnance Survey maps for all of these tasks but they are looking at alternatives for publishing maps online. They are starting to publish crime statistics maps, and for publishing purposes it is expensive to use Ordnance Survey maps.

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Comment from ianlopez1115 on 7 July 2009 at 10:43

Regarding navigation systems, it may be feasible, but they cannot afford it (I think). However, crime statistics (and hotspot) maps are more feasible, since they can just export the map, add their marks (boundaries and all), and publish and/or print it, without the copyright fuss (they can just add "from OpenStreetMap, under CC BY-SA 2.0"). Maybe OSM can improve their response time, even if they don't have a navigational system (or a GPS).

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Comment from kenguest on 8 July 2009 at 09:15

If the [in-car] OSM based routing systems worked off [near-]live data then the police could utilise this by marking closed roads (due to accidents or whatever) as such - resulting in having less traffic to 'manually' divert from those accidents.
This may involve a bit of work, but it would surely be worth it.

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