Bayanihan Mapping Workshop in Batangas City

Posted by GOwin on 3 May 2017 in English (English)

Ala eh OSM - the Basic Mapping Workshop

imgAOI Click the image to view the details via Overpass Turbo query.

Last week, a few OpenStreetMap advocates from Metro Manila made a trip to Batangas for a training engagement with the Bayanihan Mapping Workshop co-organized by MapPH and their partners. OSMph has had extensive engagements with some of MapPH efforts in the past years, and we continue to work with them in common spaces where we can collaborate.

The workshop was attended by over fifty enthusiastic participants, mostly from the respective Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) office, or the Planning and Development offices of the local government units within the Taal Volcano Protected Landscape (TVPL), about a third of the municipalities of Batangas province:

  • Agoncillo
  • Alitagtag
  • Balete
  • Cuenca
  • Laurel
  • Lemery
  • Malvar
  • Nasugbu
  • Taal
  • Talisay

MapPH’s principal partners - Pusod, Inc. (an NGO that supports sustainable tourism within communities they work in; they’ve established the Taal Lake Conservation Center in the town of Mataas na Kahoy ), the TVPL Superintendent’s Office (under the national Department of Environment and Natural Resources ), and the activity’s host, the Batangas State University - also sent their representatives to participate in the workshop.


As with our usual program for introductory courses, the iD editor was used, and the training put special emphasis on how to map and match features and geometries properly, tag them appropriately, and with practical mapping exercises, show how they can use them in their particular mapping efforts after they return to their communities.

The participants were trained in a number of practical field survey tools and techniques, including: Field Papers, SatNavs, and photo-mapping.

Field Papers has always been a long-time favorite for low-tech, low-cost approaches for mapping communities effectively. For collecting track logs, theoretical SatNav topics, practical examples, and alternatives were discussed, as SatNav devices are not commonly available to participants.

And with the ubiquity of SmartPhones, Mapillary was introduced as a photo-mapping tool for collecting fresh, street-level imagery, when aerial imagery is inadequate, out-dated, or non-existent.

Here’s one of the teams during the field survey, using Field Papers. >imgSurvey >© 2017. Feye Andal.

The local Mapillary Ambassador is caught on camera; leading another survey team and photo-mapping with the app: MapillaryAmbassador

Check out these street-level photos captured using the Mapillary smartphone app by a Talisay DRRMO staffer from another team.

After the field survey, the participants uploaded the data they collected and used them to update the map of the area their team was assigned for the exercise:

imgActualSurvey Click the image to view the details via Overpass Turbo query.

The teams continued with arm-chair mapping, and we also discussed other topics on how to utilize OSM data further. Some participants got lucky with smartphone holders given away, which they can use in their cars and bicycles, courtesy of Mapillary, like this one here:

imgWinner © 2017. Feye Andal.


There are a number of diligent mappers in the Batangas area (@TagaSanPedroAko is a conscientious mapper that comes to mind), and also because of the previous mapping activities led by UP-NOAH (erst Project NOAH), substantial building footprints has been traced from current satellite imagery, as well.

I hope that we also succeeded in conveying the value of Free and Open data, and how such data, and platforms like OpenStreetMap, contribute towards other public projects (like UP Noah); and, that their efforts to produce better community maps, also shape and improve regional and national maps.

We’d like to see these awesome OSM contributors - new and old alike - continue their mapping efforts in the spirit of our bayanihan tradition, and enrich the local geodatabase in close cooperation, with inspiring details and relevant features that their communities find valuable and important.

Remote mapping is important for baseline data but relies solely on available imagery, and can only do so much – local knowledge and local action trumps that. In the future, we’d prefer to see more mapping parties organized from, and led by the local community.

Did you participate in the workshop? We welcome your feedback, so we can do better next time.

The awesome OSMph circus troupe posing with some bananas. (No bananas were hurt during the photo shoot.) teamOSM

All content in this post not under any other entity’s copyright is hereby distributed under CC-BY-SA license. ↄ⃝ Erwin Olario.

Location: 20, Batangas City, Batangas, Calabarzon, 4200, Philippines

Comment from Chetan_Gowda on 4 May 2017 at 04:59

Nice to see all these mapping activities. Great work everyone!

Comment from GOwin on 4 May 2017 at 05:52

Thank you, Chetan.

We’re looking forward to new photo sequences by bike from Feye Andal. :P

Comment from TagaSanPedroAko on 26 December 2017 at 18:29

Though not a native of Batangas City (but will become a resident of it in the future), Batangas City is already something stuck in my mind, and I’ll never stop mapping that city that I loved very much, just to keep everything up to date. Since I became I OSM user, I started all the efforts to make Batangas City’s map great, starting with its overhaul between 2015 and 2016, which created everything that made up the current map.

And, thanks for the mapping efforts, which also emphasized ground survey and local knowledge. The city’s map already looks great since my efforts to create the present detailed map since I am a newbie, plus the Project NOAH and Batangas City LGU mapping efforts that further gave more detail, as well as my own efforts. Great job done! Hope more mapping events like that may be held, especially on this city.

Comment from GOwin on 27 December 2017 at 04:01


Your contributions to the map are awesome, and you also help out in adding details in the wiki pages. Thank you!

I’m still wondering what happened to the Batangas City’s government effort to update the OSM map. They don’t appear to be making any updates since August 2017, and last I checked, their edits still needs some fixing. It would be great if active mappers can reach out again to them, and explore how to collaborate.

I hope we can meet you IRL, one of these days. Happy new year! :)

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