August 9,2018: We had a regular meeting in our CWTS++ program of MapAmore in Polytechnic University of the Philippines, San Juan branch which was headed by our director Mr. Erwin Olario. Our mapping program is more than a month now and we discussed the progress we had made in mapping specifically in the numbers of edits is around 6500 which includes 4199 buildings and covered 716 kilometers of roads. We validated almost all the missing roads in the Philippines and a few parts in Malaysia Laos, South Africa ,Russia, Canada and Cambodia. Even though the PUPSJ CWTS++ is just beginning its mapping program shows that its students/volunteers can contribute to the aspect of mapping whether in an emergency or not.
The first topic we had for today was about other Open Street Map Editors which was reported by our classmate Joshua Madridondo. The editors he shared was Potlatch 2, Merkaartor, Vespucci, StreetCompete, OsmAnd, Quantum GIS and ArcGIS. The editors stated has some pros and cons, like for Potlatch 2 it was easy to use which was good for beginners, displays the GPS traces in difference layers but requires a flash plug-in in the browser. While Merkaartor has unique features, intuitive user interface and binaries for Windows and other platforms. But it has a slow development and a small data base.
After that our director started to discuss the common issues and techniques about mapping.
•When you are in a task and the area you are mapping is not whole, then logically you would still map the entire area even though its other haft is in another task.
• In making roads you would like to copy the geometry of the road when you are mapping so that it would follow what it looks like, so creating addition nods are necessary. Additional you must connect roads in an entire area rather than creating a single line or incomplete ones. Indicate whether they are intersecting. Do not create another line on top of an existing road unless needed. Connect roads if necessary.
•When putting names on a building you must know the name of that establishment or building. Putting your name on a building is not needed or even someone else unless they are a public figure like a politician.
•Study the satellite image because some images are not what they seem to be.
•If an image is being block by a cloud or it has a bad imagery then find another image of the same place. If possible some images would just need logic in mapping.
•Most buildings are square or rectangle, if you mapping a building with trees around it you would make a square rather than avoiding the tree. Logically, the tree would be taller than the building because it blocks a portion of the roof. Squaring the building corners is a must. You can put a single area on a place if it is too close to each.
•Connect water features like rivers to coast.
•You can split your task if it is too big.
•Use appropriate tags.
We had a group discussion about Laos Flood Mapping when our director asked the volunteers who mapped the area to share their experiences. Some say it was quite confusing because some tasks where divided, but either way you have to map the area you had chosen whether it is partial of the whole. Some said they did not know they were already mapping Laos. Some putted the wrong hashtag in the comment, making the non-related Laos edit counted in the said project. There are also positive experiences that they just enjoy mapping.
Then we had an exercise which was called fieldpaper. We were given a paper, this paper was a map of the vicinity of PUP San Juan, streets, routes and areas we normally go by before arriving/leaving school. It was divided into 8 tasks and we would identify the area given. To identify the area, you must know the houses, streets and establishments nearly. Then you have to mark them or put legends. It was like the hardcopy of Open Street Map. After that we had another exercise using a computer. We have to go to a website named www.fieldpapers.org it was similar to OSM then we have to find and our houses/neighborhoods and just map the entire block. Then we would create an atlas of our neighborhood.
In conclusion learning the basics of mapping would help develop other skills. Studying common issues or mistakes would enable a more efficient output. Mapping makes us aware of our surrounding specially in our communities, making us see things from a different perspective and even showing us what is beyond the maps. I would like to thank our director Mr. Erwin Olario of MapAmore for sharing his knowledge and expertise with mapping.