Many places around the world right now are experiencing community lock downs to help mitigate the spread of CoVid-19. Non-essential travel is restricted or banned, including even exercising outdoors.

That’s our new normal here in the Philippines, especially those villages, towns, and cities in Luzon under “community quarantine”, or the more restrictive “enhanced community quarantine”, in other words we are staying at home as much as possible, and most us are online doing many other things, trying to keep our minds of from worrying.

In fact, I recently enrolled to an online language course, to brush up on my Nihonggo, which I took up many years ago, but never really got to use except, for my perfect “Wakarimasen” replies. 😉

Last week, the OSM community in the Philippines kicked of a re-formatted MapaTime initiative. In our previous normal, MapaTime events are mapathon sessions held in venues where people physically gather to contribute, learn, map, exchange ideas about specific themes, or initiatives. It’s a term we use, instead of the jargon “mapathon” which many people may not understand, based on feedback we received from past sessions.

This initiative is referred to as “WeMap”, a portmanteau of “Wednesdays MapaTime” , where we plan to organize sessions every Wednesday night, hoping to reach out to online volunteers who are keen to contribute to positive efforts, with tangible outcomes during the lock down.

The “pilot episode”

Last week, the MapaGaling campaign by the Ministry of Mapping was featured, where participants were taught how to contribute to OSM using MapContrib, and mapping local healthcare facilities that they know of: hospitals, clinics, doctors, pharmacies, etc. MapContrib is perfect for new mappers, with a very friendly and almost intuitive interface.

Most of the participants were from the capital region,but we had a sprinkling of participants from elsewhere, and this showed up in the edits that occurred during that period, when we encourage participants to map the favorite neighborhoods they’re familiar with.

There’s a genuine interest for healthcare-related efforts, and that was made apparent by the ~77 volunteers who attended that night:

What’s next?

This coming Wednesday, together #WeMap for the MAPampanga campaign of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team in the Philippines, to map infrastructure essential to disaster preparedness and response in the province.

For your convenience, we recommend using a computer with a mouse, to maximize your potential for learning the iD editor during the webinar.

Together #WeMap for Pampanga this Wednesday, 1st April, 19:30 (UTC+8).

We’re keen to hear from fellow contributors – new and old, while we map together during the session. Details about the session is available here:

I hope you continue to look after yourself, and look out for one another. Take care and stay safe.

Location: Philippines


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