Pista ng Mapa 2019 - By the numbers

Posted by GOwin on 9 August 2019 in English. Last updated on 12 August 2019.

Last Thursday, on the first day of August, the inaugural Pista ng Mapa conference officially welcomed participants to the wide and green spaces of Foundation University in Dumaguete, Philippines. It was two-and-a-half days of mappiness for the 166 participants who gathered to celebrate Open data (especially, geodata) and Free software with local mapping communities in the Visayas region.

It was awesome to see the enthusiastic number we’re able to gather, but it was more pleasing to note their diversity. We didn’t ask for our participants’ gender in our registration, but this group photo shows that no particular gender group eclipsed the other.

2019 Pista ng Mapa group photo. © 2019. Neyzielle Ronnicque Cadiz.

If you’ve ever been to a Filipino festival, then you may have some idea how it’s like: noisy, tummy-filling, plenty of good stuff to be had, and a great time to party with old and new friends.

Everyone had a great fest. There were plenty of opportunities to learn from each other and to sample a good number of technologies, applications, and software, and yet, many still groaned about the conference not being long enough: there was not enough time to digest all of the new ideas they were getting before they’re already off for the next workshop. Between that, we’d have folks already asking when the next Pista is going to happen.

While the conference focused on local initiatives and concerns, friends from Indonesia, Singapore, and Canada gave the gathering an international flavor.

By the numbers

  • 166 participants
  • 34 presentations (Keynote: 2, Plenary sessions: 8, Workshops: 15, Lightning talks: 9)
  • 3 Tapok-tapok (breakout) sessions
  • 28 volunteers
  • 7 sponsors
  • 1 official social event, plus a few unofficial ones
  • 3 drone flights (check them out on OpenAerialMap)
  • 4 mapathons (the largest had 63 participants )
  • 91 fire stations added in the Central Visayas region
  • 1 local community field work
  • Countless possibilities!

New community-initiative - Tabang-AI

Adityo of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team leading a mapathon using MapWithAI tools. © 2019. Emmanuel Sambale.

One of the mapathons hosted during the conference was led by HOTOSM, and ably demonstrated the potentials of AI-assisted mapping for enhancing the abilities of new contributors, while they are learning to interpret imagery, as well as improve the quality of their contributions. Experienced mappers can also benefit from the AI boost.

This ties well with the OSMph goal to reach out to the countryside, and grow enthusiasts and users, as well as help local stakeholders develop their baseline data.

Details and updates about this initiative may be found in the Tabang-AI repository.

Trivia: Tabang-AI is a word play on tábangay, a Cebuano word for helping each other or collaboration.

Daghang salamat kaayo!

Cebuano is the lingua franca in our host city, Dumaguete, and “Daghang salamat kaayo” means “thank you very much”.

Special thanks goes out to all of our 28 volunteers from the local OpenStreetMap, OSGeo/FOSS4G, and map-py communities, the organizing team, 7 sponsors, and everyone who contributed by supporting our volunteers by the sidelines.

Photos and Workshop Videos

Pictures from the conference were taken by the awesome Documentation Team of Foundation University. We will be updating this post, as soon as the stills and videos are available. Find some on social media with the #PistaNgMapa hashtag!

Meanwhile, below is a short clip of some of the conference highlights:

A copy is also available on YouTube.

Pista ng Mapa 2020!

Are you keen to support the next Pista ng Mapa? We already received some expressions of interest, and received many calls to run another Pista ng Mapa conference next year, to serve the countryside.

We’d love to hear your thoughts, drop us an email.


We will be updating this post for links to the conference decks and materials that will be made available to the participants and the public.

Location: Taclobo, Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Central Visayas, Philippines


Comment from arnalielsewhere on 15 August 2019 at 05:35

Yey! Thanks for sharing this! :D

Comment from mariannemores on 20 August 2019 at 03:20

more power to all mapper and thankful to be apart of this opportunity as participants.thank you sir for invite Godbless you and to all Happy #PistaNgMAPA

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