feyeandal's Diary

Recent diary entries

In this blog post, I am highlighting the significant contributions of the local chapters of YouthMappers in the OSM-Philippines community in 2022 and sharing a short reflection about the impacts of YouthMappers in a local context.

I want to start with this statement from Dr. Patricia Solis: “OpenStreetMap (OSM) community is a community of communities.” It captures the fact that OSM is more than just an online community; some diverse mappers contribute to the growth of the community. Some humanitarian mappers contribute data from a humanitarian perspective, helping minimize the impacts of disasters. Some hobbyists have been contributing particular knowledge all over the world for years. And now, corporate actors like Meta/Mapillary, Apple Maps, and Grab are contributing data concerning their corporate interests and for different use cases. Plus, there are local communities all around the world and also the local chapters of YouthMappers. It’s really impressive how OSM is a representation of different communities on the map. 🗺️

YouthMappers is one community that supports and makes up the OSM community. YouthMappers is an international consortium of university-level student mapping clubs with local chapters in universities of various countries. We leverage open data and open mapping such as OpenStreetMap to solve the development needs of the communities.

As young mappers, our goal is not just to build maps but to build mappers. We strongly believe that building the capacity of our mappers could forge collaboration among the communities and encourage the creation of more maps that could benefit the community. 💪

Based on the statistics last August 2022 provided by Jennings Anderson and Dr. Patricia Solis at State of the Map in Florence, Italy, YouthMappers has 324 university chapters on different campuses in 67 countries, and we are proud to say that most of our members are 45% women. 👏

In the local context, OSM-Philippines is also supported by organizations like GeoLadiesPH, MapBeks, Mental Health AWHEREness (who are advocate groups), and of course, the 12 local YouthMappers chapters across the Philippines. 🥰

local YM in the Philippines

YouthMappers is a real opportunity for us to increase and balance the community of mappers in the least mapped areas in OSM. When I started recruiting universities, my primary consideration was the distribution of data in OSM based on Thinking Machines’ Map the Gap 2020. Still, the recruitment process was challenging as I had to contact the universities individually. The recruitment process got more tricky, mainly because of the restrictions due to the pandemic, and so I utilized the connections from our community members. This helped me minimize the initial introduction and bureaucracy needed to jumpstart the conversation with the universities.

First, I would like to thank AER for supporting their partner universities through the COLLABDev Project and Mark Aimon Pangan, who helped me connect with their partners and eventually become part of the YouthMappers network. USTP-AGES and Viscan YouthMappers are some of the partner universities that were provided with training and mentorship from Aimon. Check out this blog post from USTP-AGES.

And also, huge thanks to UP Tacloban YouthMappers, our first YouthMappers chapter outside Metro Manila. Through their connection with various universities in the Visayas region, we established two local chapters in Eastern Visayas: Eastern Visayas State University and Southern Leyte State University, from their annual MAPABULIG activity.

The support from the local OSM community members and fellow YouthMappers members helped us connect with various communities and conduct more capacity-building activities that strengthened the chapters’ knowledge and skills in mapping. Different chapters were also awarded grants and recognition for their contribution to open mapping throughout the year. 🏅

Among the significant activities and recognition of Filipino YouthMappers include the following:

But just like any other community, the chapters also have shared experiences and challenges. Not all chapters have equal access to the right technologies and reliable internet connection, and shifting to virtual learning also created some friction in conducting capacity-building activities. While we adapted to virtual mapathons, most of the chapters still prefer face-to-face activities, as this is still the best mode of guided learning for the participants.

I also want to reiterate that it is important to recognize the efforts of our young mappers as they still participate and implement activities despite the challenges they experience. Given the time and effort they spent contributing to the growth of map data and the community, it is only proper to affirm their participation in the community. This is important to sustain the chapters in staying active in the local OSM community and the YouthMappers network.

Next year, the local chapters hope to conduct more inter-chapter collaboration, expand the community of mappers in their respective regions, and develop their chapter’s core competencies.

These initiatives, programs, and behavior-change are testaments that young mappers are not the next generation of mappers or the leaders of the future, but young mappers are the leaders of TODAY. 🤩🥳

A month ago, Pista ng Mapa (PnM) and State of the Map Asia 2022 (SotMA) was held in Legazpi City, Albay. It was the first time we organized a face-to-face conference since the pandemic. For the past two years, we have been conducting Pista ng Mapa online since it was impossible to arrange an in-person conference given the risks of the pandemic.

PnM x SotMA 2022 Main Image

It is with no doubt that the participants had loads of fun, and the memories still linger on. But what are the secrets behind the success of Pista ng Mapa and State of the Map Asia 2022?

Joining the core organizing team - why and how?

My interest in joining the local organizing team came from attending FOSS4G 2017 in Boston, USA, State of the Map 2019 in Heidelberg, Germany, and the 2020-2021 Pista ng Mapa (online). And having experienced the back-to-back State of the Map and FOSS4G conferences in Florence last August, my interest skyrocketed, and I swore to give the best conference experiences (if not similar 😉) to the PnM x SotMA participants.

I particularly braved to volunteer as the Programs Coordinator. I was glad that the Pista ng Mapa core organizing team agreed to have me as the lead of the Programs team. As a social scientist, I want to ensure that the presentations range not only on the technical aspects but also on governance sessions, community talks, and practical applications related to open mapping. Personally, I do not like attending heavy technical conferences, where first-timers could feel intimidated and conscious, especially when they do not have enough specialized experience and skills regarding the topics of the conference. Been there, done that. 🙅

The secret/s behind the success of Pista ng Mapa and State of the Map Asia 2022

The success of Pista ng Mapa and State of the Map Asia 2022 came from each member of the local organizing team having a distinctive yet complementary role. Each of the volunteers has talent in their way, but it is the chemistry the team has that works best. Throughout the planning process and preparations, the core organizers of PnM x SoTMA and the local volunteers from Geodetic Engineers of the Philippines Inc. Bicol University Student Chapter, a Philippine YouthMappers chapter, have been nothing but supportive, persevering, and hands-on. 🙏

PnM x SotMA 2022 Organizing Team

The core and local organizing team of Pista ng Mapa and State of the Map Asia 2022_

But, like any other conferences that involve gathering a huge number of local and international delegates, the organizing team also went through hiccups and mishaps. As co-organizer, we recognized that jumping through hoops was as important as celebrating the success of organizing the event.

It’s our first time working altogether, and it’s not easy to meet the needs of a diverse group of people with sometimes opposing working styles, but providing options always helps. Compromise may be required among the team when preferences exactly don’t match up. But, having great and strong leadership helped build rapport and cooperation among the group. I can confidently say that both the core and the local organizing team have vital leadership skills that contributed to the success of organizing the conferences. I firmly believe that when leaders lead by example and demonstrate high standards, the members are likely to follow and get inspired. After all, we have the shared mindset – to give the participants the best Pista ng Mapa and State of the Map Asia 2022 experience. ♥️

PnM x SotMA 2022 Core Organizing Team

The core organizing team of Pista ng Mapa and State of the Map Asia 2022 recognized during the last day of PnM x SotMA 2022

I am grateful to have worked with the most passionate and dedicated members of the open mapping community: Leigh, Ben, RK, and Mikko, who were also the lead organizers of PnM x SoTMA 2022. One of their best traits is creating an environment where everyone can thrive, have fun, and be creative. I remember Leigh saying, “Alalay lang tayo sa isa’t isa” every morning at our briefing session, reminding us that we can overcome anything by having each other’s backs. Ben would also remind us to enjoy still and have fun at the conference, despite being busy as organizers. I commend Mikko for always sharing his creative and innovative ideas with us (that usually come in clutch!). Fun fact: During the workshop day, the internet connection was slow at the main hall (BUCENG Gymnasium), so conducting a mapathon was nearly impossible. He pulled off a fantastic amazing race as an alternative activity to the mapathon. And this became the most memorable and exciting activity during PnM x SotMA. 🙌

PnM 2022 Amazing Race

The participants being competitive yet having fun at the amazing race of PnM x SotMA 2022!

Although the team faced complicated problems and challenges, the essentials set the tone for a successful conference – trust, collaboration, commitment, appreciation, purpose, and creativity. We may have experienced hundreds of issues, from securing a university partner to losing a significant sponsor, yet we still handled them with grace. We kept our heads high, all thanks to the patience and passion of the local organizing team.

I also want to give utmost appreciation to the participants who celebrated Pista ng Mapa and State of the Map Asia with us. Without them, the conference would not have been as festive and successful as it was. It was fascinating to see the chemistry and camaraderie shared among the participants. 🫶

The attendees of State of the Map Asia 2022

The 250+ attendees of State of the Map Asia 2022

What’s next for Pista ng Mapa?

During the second day of Pista ng Mapa, the core organizers of Pista ng Mapa 2022 hosted a self-organized session about Pista ng Mapa 2023. We shared our plans on seeking hosts for the next Pista ng Mapa through a bidding process similar to the international State of the Map.

Local YouthMappers chapters attending Pista ng Mapa 2023 Introductions

Local YouthMappers chapters attending Pista ng Mapa 2023 Introductions

The bidding process will officially begin by late-January 2023, and the vetting process will be held in the first quarter of 2023. The selected host will have at least five months to prepare for the next Pista ng Mapa. Several local YouthMappers chapters have already expressed their interest in hosting Pista ng Mapa 2023. But who will succeed? 🤔

We are still yet to announce the bidding process at, so stay tuned!

📺 In case you missed Pista ng Mapa and State of the Map Asia 2022, you may watch the highlights here.

📸 Photo credits to SBCreatives and the volunteers of the Geodetic Engineers of the Philippines Inc. Bicol University Student Chapter for the photos

It has been almost a month since the annual State of the Map (SoTM) and Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) 2022 conferences, but the stories and experiences are still fresh in my memory. Both were the most awaited conferences in the open mapping and open software world and, undoubtedly, the best conferences I have attended.

SoTM and FOSS4G conferences were hybrid – held in Florence, Italy, and online. SoTM2022 was held last Aug 19-21, 2022, while FOSS4G took place on Aug 22-28, 2022. On top of the conference sessions and workshops, different organizations hosted additional events, like the HOT unSummit, and the YouthMappers documentary premiere. GeoChicas also hosted their social night.


The beautiful sunset in Firenze, taken at Piazzale Michelangelo

Before I share my story, let me thank YouthMappers for inviting us to join the back-to-back conferences and providing us with a conference stipend. Also, I would like to thank the local organizers of SoTM and FOSS4G for giving me a partial travel grant in recognition of my SoTM logo proposal. Without the support of these organizations, I would not have been able to attend the conferences. In retrospect, it seemed that the stars aligned in my favor this year. I remember the struggles of securing financial sponsors back then just to be able to attend these workshops. Who would have thought I would be attending these conferences this year without worrying much about the financial matters that would come with it? I am forever grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! 🙏🙇🏽‍♀️


Of course, the mandatory SoTM photo!


The YouthMappers Regional Ambassadors and Leaders attending SoTM2022!

Before the two conferences, YouthMappers hosted a pre-conference workshop for the Regional Ambassadors and the former Research Fellows. It was our first-time meeting in person, and it was exceptionally great! However, some of our colleagues couldn’t fly to Firenze, as they’ve had issues with visa acquisition. We spent the day discussing our experiences as YouthMappers, and how the network grew and impacted communities. It was a nice warm-up and perfect preparation for the back-to-back conferences!


Forever grateful to the YouthMappers Steering Committee for giving this opportunity with me and my fellow YouthMappers!

It was my second time attending SoTM and FOSS4G, but attending this year was unique and much more memorable. My first SoTM was in Heidelberg, Germany, last 2019, while my first FOSS4G was in Boston, USA, in 2017. This time, I have grown a much deeper passion and appreciation for OpenStreetMap communities through my involvement in the local OSM-Philippines community and the YouthMappers network and developed more skills using FOSS4G technologies. Moreover, I have known more people from both communities because of the remote interaction and the power of social media. It was pretty interesting for me when people greeted me with “I always see you on Twitter!” and I honestly did not know how to react – was I annoying on Twitter? was I noisy? 😅. But, imagine the joy I felt from personally meeting the community members and local volunteers and sharing the same experiences with them; it was unfathomable.

The first three days were fun and exciting; this year’s lineup of talks and presentations was solid and excellent. It was a combination of community talks, technical presentations, and governance sessions. Choosing a session to attend was difficult, as the parallel sessions were quite good. Among the outstanding presentations I attended were:

I was also given an opportunity to share a talk about Filipino YouthMappers at the HOT unSummit. In this talk, I shared how I, as a Regional Ambassador of YouthMappers, helped propel the growth of the YouthMappers community in the Philippines. My co-YouthMappers also shared some talks regarding their work in their respective chapters. It was amazing to hear about their stories and learn that we share similar experiences in solving social problems in our communities! I also did a lightning talk about the revamped NOAH website and how open data are used for disaster mitigation efforts in the Philippines during the last day of SoTM.



First time doing two talks at SoTM! Such an honor to represent both Filipino YouthMappers and UPRI - NOAH Center!

Meanwhile, FOSS4G was a bit overwhelming as it was overloaded with more technical presentations and workshops (imagine eight sessions happening simultaneously!). During the first day of the workshops, I felt quite intimidated by the people around me. Both sessions I attended had fewer women participants (maybe around 3-5 women?), so I suddenly felt overwhelmed and it made me realize that women are still under-represented in this field. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the workshops and sessions I participated in! This year, I have relatively more knowledge and experience using FOSS, such as QGIS, GDAL, GeoPandas, GeoServer, and Mapillary, so the sessions were quite relatable. PLUS, meeting the developers behind these tools was excellent (I was fangirling on the side!). Just a little side comment though, I noticed that some speakers had three (or maybe more?) presentations. Although I know they are well-experienced and have significant contributions to the community, we could perhaps rethink how we evaluate the lineup of speakers next year to provide equal opportunities to other contributors who want to share their work and highlight their initiatives.


The most beautiful conference venue I have ever seen!

My favorite workshops were Doing Geospatial in Python and using Mergin Maps! I like them both because they are easy to use, convenient, and innovative tools. They will definitely be part of the knowledge-sharing session I will organize in my country.

One of the highlights of participating in these conferences was attending the premiere of the YouthMappers documentary. The video documentary gives a powerful message on how student mappers shape the communities within OpenStreetMap and help contribute to solving global problems through open mapping. It was also lovely to share the stage with my co-YouthMappers when we introduced our book chapters and answered some questions related to them at the launch of our book titled “Open Mapping towards Sustainable Development Goals” after the documentary premiere.


During the Q&A portion of the book launch! Photo grabbed from Gregory Marler!

To add, FOSS4G organizers know how to organize a socials night! It was absolutely the best social night I attended in Florence! After all the intense workshops and sessions, it was a much-needed social event. 🎉

The local organizing team of FOSS4G also made some pleasant remarks and deserving recognition to the conference volunteers and community members at the Closing Session. It was truly inspiring to learn how much effort and heart they put into making this event possible. Another side comment though, while providing some statistics of the participants geographically this year is essential, I am also interested in seeing how much the ratio between the men and women this year is.

Attending both conferences was absolutely the best experience I have ever had in my entire career. Since it was nine-full conference days, it was a bit intense and sometimes overwhelming – I was experiencing some learning fatigue on the 5th day. Nonetheless, it was a truly memorable experience, and it has made me realize how strong these communities are, especially when communities join together towards a common goal. Furthermore, the accommodating members from the local organizing team of both SoTM and FOSS4G, and the friendly atmosphere of Firenze undoubtedly made my experience more unforgettable! (I remember my very first day in Florence – I traveled to the YM workshop venue for about ~30 minutes by walking because I was unsure how to commute, so I got dehydrated when I arrived. A man willingly helped me buy water in the vending machine since I couldn’t understand how to operate it. He even kindly paid for my water! I didn’t even know that the man who helped me was Luca Delucchi, until Letwin Pondo shared with me how Luca helped her navigate through Florence too and showed his photo. I was humiliated when I learned it was THE Luca later 🙈, the chair of the FOSS4G conference, but I was very thankful. Hearing Letwin’s amazing SoTM and FOSS4G journey with the help of Luca is a testament how kind and humble Luca is. He is indeed the BEST!!!).


The FOSS4G travel grant scholars with Christiano (man in red shirt, left side) and Luca (man in red shirt, right side)! Thank you, OSGeo! Photo grabbed from FOSS4G2022.

I am looking forward to attending the next SoTM and FOSS4G conferences and excited to creating new memories again! I hope the venue next year has fewer and less complicated travel requirements so more people can attend; after all, we are known for promoting inclusion and diversity. Again, thank you very much to the organizers, speakers, volunteers, scholars, and fellow participants, for making my SoTM and FOSS4G experience a memorable and special one! ♥️

Meanwhile, Pista ng Mapa 2022 and State of the Map-Asia 2022 will be held on 21-25 November in Legazpi City, Albay, Philippines. Please join us when you can! The call for participation and registration is now open as of this writing. Please see the following links below:


Until we meet again! Ciao!

Of being a part of the OSM-PH community

Posted by feyeandal on 27 June 2021 in English (English). Last updated on 28 June 2021.

Last September 2020, the OSM-Philippines community released the Call to Correct Narratives about Geospatial Work [in the Philippines]. We’re provided with an opportunity to share our own narratives and showcase the local community’s initiatives through a documentary-video produced by Amazon Web Services – Philippines.


I am especially thankful for the chance given to me by the local community to represent YouthMappers and to share my journey as a volunteer for OSM-Philippines in this documentary-video. My interest and passion for OSM and open mapping rose out of my deep admiration over my co-volunteers in OSM-PH, who have immeasurable passion for open mapping and for serving the local communities. My active engagement in this community has given me a lot of opportunities to meet other people and to learn something new every day. It has also helped me hone my technical knowledge and skills in mapping, gain my confidence and build my credibility to make a good impact to the community, and direct me towards the consciousness of building a quality data to OSM.

Years after initially being a part of the local community, I realized that the need for serving the communities through providing them with accurate and updated data still matters, but the joy of working with the people we meet help sustain us (volunteers) in continuing our volunteer efforts. I am glad that I am surrounded by people who care deeply about their work and service to the community and challenge me to be the best that I could be.

Through the OSM-PH community, I am humbly reminded of the importance of community and of coming together to serve the communities in any way possible. I know, for sure, that this is what binds the OSM-PH community together and stronger – something that cannot be taken away from us.

I hope that we are able to inspire other local OSM and geospatial communities to capture what is really happening on the ground and to share their own narratives through their lenses.

Cheers, Feye

Last 20 February, I hosted an OpenStreetMap workshop and Mapathon with the local YouthMappers chapters in the Philippines. It was attended by the members and volunteers from UP Resilience Institute Youth Mappers, FEU - Alabang ACM Chapter, and JPCS - National University. Together, we mapped San Ignacio, Tarlac. This was a great avenue for the students to meet and get together and help the local government of San Ignacio and support MapBeks’ initiative #UNMAPPED2021

Taken 20 February, PH YouthMappers unite to map San Ignacia, Tarlac

From this activity, we were able to add and validate a total of 2,146 buildings. We are hoping to add more and validate more data in the coming months!

I am also happy to share with you that University of Makati - Computer Society is the 5th local YouthMappers chapter in the Philippines! I am aiming to recruit more organizations to join the OSM community and YouthMappers network from Visayas and Mindanao islands in PH.


Cheers, Feye, YouthMappers Regional Ambassador

2020 is coming to an end and we are all taking a moment to appreciate on the past twelve months. The HOT-Philippines Mapping Team members are hard at work to provide the best quality of data in our field operations and our remote mapping and training activities. To help you look back, we prepared a year-end report that summarizes our accomplishment for the year.

PhilAWARE Project

HOT-Philippines started the PhilAWARE Project last July 2019 which is a local installation of DisasterAWARE, a disaster risk reduction and integrated early warning and decision support system that also incorporates many data layers form OpenStreetMap.

Part of the activities of the project included remote mapping in the province of Pampanga and municipalities of Quezon City and Marikina City. Remote mapping and validation activities for Pampanga and Quezon City have been completed with the help of volunteers, organizations, partners, and other stakeholders while Marikina City is still in progress.

Aside from the remote activities, we also began collecting the data from the ground in the municipalities of Pampanga last August. Our field operations was made possible through the support of the local government offices and volunteers in Pampanga despite the restrictions of COVID-19.


Alongside the PhilAWARE Project, we supported OSM Philippines’ OSMaPaaralan Project which is an initiative to collaboratively map public schools (paaralan) in the Philippines using OpenStreetMap. Our team is validating location of schools in Pampanga and updating information related to emergencies. If you want to contribute and learn more, head over to the MapRoulette task and help OSM-PH complete the project!

Mapping in a Pandemic

The pandemic has a large impact on our remote and field operations. Our team has encountered a lot of challenges such as postponing and slowing down of field mapping activities because of sudden lockdowns and surge of active COVID cases, resigning staff due to COVID-19 safety threat as well as self-isolation caused by experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms but we were still able to pull them through. [We were also able to make a documentary on how COVID-19 remapped the reality and presented them during the 2nd day of Pista Ng Mapa. Video available online soon.]

While being affected by the pandemic, we are part of the UP Resilience Institute’s initiative to end COVID-19 (#endcov). UP Resilience Institute collaborated with HOT-PH in mapping and validating the building footprints of Quezon City. The data were used by UPRI to develop a data-driven analysis and recommeendation to the local government unit of Quezon City for the city’s pandemic response. [We created a poster about this initiative and participated at the State of the Map 2020’s Poster Exhibit].

See photos below for the summary of our output for 2020:







We would like to thank everyone for the continued contribution and support in our project. We hope to see you again next year!


HOTPH Mapping Team

As of 21 September, the mapping and validation tasks for the campaign #PhilAWARE - #MAPampanga in the Tasking Manager have been officially completed. Quezon City and Pampanga are the two pilot areas for the #PhilAWARE project. Quezon City tasks were also completed on June 2020, as part of the #endcov initiative of HOT-PH and UP Resilience Institute.

OSM building footprints and roads in Pampanga from January to September 2020

Building footprint count and road length (in in Pampanga from January to September 2020

The #MAPampanga remote mapping activities started last February 2020, days before the #MAPampanga event held at Thinking Machines Data Science office in Taguig City. The completion of the projects in the Tasking Manager was made possible through the help of several organizations and individuals. We conducted series of in-person and online mapathons with various student organizations and corporate partners, government agencies, and the general public to engage with more volunteers and build quality mappers.

There has been an increase of ~933.41% in the building count while ~63.99% in the road length through the #MAPampanga mapping initiatives. A total number of 1,754 unique contributors has also been recorded.

Prior to the HOT Philippines activities in Pampanga, OSM Philippines and the local government units of Pampanga (Guagua, Lubao, and Candaba) have been contributing to improving their map in OpenStreetMap.

While the remote mapping and validation tasks have been concluded, we still have a long way to go. The HOT-PH Field Mapping Team based in Pampanga started the field mapping operations last August for the municipalities in Pampanga to collect critical lifeline infrastructures data. Aside from field mapping, the HOT-PH Training Team also started training and building the capacity of the local government units and volunteers on using OpenStreetMap.

We would like to thank everyone who contributed to #MAPampanga and #PhilAWARE!

If you have a bunch of geospatial data (e.g. buildings, banks, hospitals, schools, etc.) and you want to ensure that the tags/attributes on each of your data is “complete” before uploading it to OSM, you may want to check its data completeness first. To assess whether your data is “complete”, make sure you have a list of tags that you expect from your data.

Sample houses data opened in JOSM

I wrote a simple python script to check the data completeness of a specific dataset.

Generally, the script opens and reads a geojson file and uses a json schema that allows us to annotate and validate every feature of the geojson file. The defined json schema is the set of attributes you expect from your data. If all of these are met, then the object is tagged as valid (complete), otherwise it is tagged as invalid (incomplete). The output from the function is then saved to a new csv file.

Sample schema (groups of tags) I set to assess the completeness of the input file

In my defined schema, each of the key has a type requirement (string, number/value) and a defined set of expected values. I also added a required keyword to indicate the required fields for a specific feature to be tagged as valid/complete.

Sample output from the script: indicating which objects are valid or invalid

From the output file, you can now easily check which nodes need to be fixed! Now, let’s take a quick look at node #7 which turned out to be invalid. You may convert your geojson file to a csv format file so you can easily visualize the data (into a table form).

Node 7 tagged as invalid

As seen from the screenshot, there is a missing value for the key building. Since from the json schema in the script, I set all fields as required, no column must have null value. Thus, node #7 was tagged as invalid.

Node 8 tagged as invalid

Another example here is that the value for the building:levels is in string format. As I set the building:levels format to number/value in the json schema, this node was tagged as invalid.

So, there! I hope you find this script also useful for your validation.

In cooperation with the UP Resilience Institute (UPRI), the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) – Philippines has completely mapped and validated building footprints in Quezon City, Metro Manila on OpenStreetMap as part of the response we are doing to end COVID-19 (#endcov). Quezon City is one of the most densely populated and hardest hit municipalities in the Philippines by COVID-19. The OSM building footprints were used by UPRI to develop a data-driven analysis and recommendation to the local government unit of Quezon City for the city’s pandemic response. This is also part of the PhilAWARE project to map the critical infrastructures across the Philippines.

The mapping initiative started on 20 April 2020 through the HOT’s Tasking Manager (#8385, #8386).

Daily active members and changesets in the Philippines from 20 April

Daily active members and changesets in the Philippines from 20 April

Changesets and contributions in Quezon City from 21 April to 11 May

Changesets and contributions in Quezon City from 21 April to 11 May

Through the help of 644 contributors around the world, 317,325 building footprints were added and validated to OSM in 62 days.

In behalf of HOT-Philippines, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing mappers, validators, and volunteers who tirelessly work on creating and maintaining the data quality in OSM that would surely help the local communities in our campaign to #endcov.

Check out all the posters at the SoTM website!

Lately, I’ve been sitting with emptiness, constantly battling with my depression and anxiety, yet fighting to exist in my everyday life. I feel like my pursuit for finding meaning and purpose in life that transcends change never ends. And as I live my life, I tend to look for something positive hoping to fill that void. Well, I guess this is what #existentialcrisis does to me.

Luckily, I got a partial support to attend SoTM and HOT Summit in Heidelberg, Germany. Of course, I do not want to miss this great opportunity. I haven’t attended a global SoTM conference before, and this news gives me another hope in life or at least something to look forward to. And maybe, just maybe, this is the ‘something’ I’ve been looking and waiting for. The ‘something’ that can numb the perpetual feeling of emptiness.

And since I only applied for partial support from SoTM (only the accommodation fees and conference tickets were covered), I need to ask my employer to cover the remaining travel expenses I have. Unfortunately, I was informed that there are no available international travel funds for non-contractuals like me. Sucks, right? The fact that UP couldn’t support me keeps me up at night and eats at my soul again. But I do not want to give this opportunity up. No, not yet. And so I took my chances and talked to some people in the OSM Philippines community about my dilemma. Although they also couldn’t provide financial assistance for me, I am still grateful as they have shown overflowing moral support to me, especially when they learned I got nominated for the OSM Awards 2019.

I don’t want to give this up, as I have been eyeing to attend global SoTM since 2015. I was left with nothing but to support myself financially in this journey. I realized that nothing really comes easy, and so I need to take risks, even if it costs me a lot.

Not a day goes by where I don’t get panic and anxiety attacks thinking about the SoTM conference. As scholars of State of the Map 2019, we were asked to give a lightning talk of any topic we’d want to talk about. Oh, this is the first time I’d be doing an oral presentation in an international conference abroad, so all the anxieties are building up inside me as the day of my presentation gets closer.

Amidst all the chaos going on inside my head, I reminded myself to stay calm and take it easy. I decided to present one of the works UP Resilience Institute’s been doing since 2016. I gave a lightning talk on “Using OpenStreetMap Building Footprints Data for Population Distribution Model: A Case Study in Cavite, Philippines”. It was a challenge for me to present all our work – from methodology to results, all in 5 minutes, so I tried my best to share the learnings and challenges we’ve encountered as concise as possible. Good thing my friends from OSM-Philippines were there during my presentation to support me.

Grabbed from mapmakerdavid’s Twitter account

Grabbed from @mapmakerdavid’s Twitter account

The best favor I did for myself during the conference was to try being a social butterfly instead of staying as a wallflower. I began to come out of my introverted shell and engage with people – and it was the greatest part of my SoTM journey. It was really nice meeting the people from the OSM community all over the world – the people I only encounter online! It’s warming to engage with people with the same heart and passion for OSM.

Filipino delegates at SoTM 2019: Jess, @anditabinas, @feyeandal, @jenjereren, @seav, @mapmakerdavid

Filipino delegates at SoTM 2019: Jess, @anditabinas, @feyeandal, @jenjereren, @seav, @mapmakerdavid

I was also very delighted to meet Tim Sutton (!!!!), one of the developers of InaSAFE. As a heavy user of InaSAFE in the Philippines, I got goosebumps all over me when I met and talk with him! Too bad I wasn’t able to take a selfie with him!

Of course, meeting the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) in person has been fun! Although I have already met a couple of them during State of the Map-Asia last 2016, it’s always thrilling to see them.

Grabbed from Nick Brown’s: Ph, Taiwan and Indonesian colleagues at lunch :muscle:

Grabbed from Nick Brown’s: Ph, Taiwan and Indonesian colleagues at lunch :muscle:

And who would have thought that I will get close to my roommates @tshedy, and @Fanevajanahary, who are both champion mappers in Africa (Lesotho and Madagascar), and Ate @jenjereren, an advocate and mom mapper. They are easy to be with, and I also got inspired by the works they’ve been doing in their respective fields. Check out #MapLesotho!

First photo with my SoTM roomies, Tshedy, Jen, (me) and Faneva

First photo with my SoTM roomies: Tshedy, Jen, (me) and Faneva

It was also nice to meet my fellow scholars during the conference. We roamed around town during the last day of our stay in Heidelberg.

Going out with my co-scholars!

Going out with my co-scholars!

Big thanks to OSM Foundation for the scholarship grant and the opportunity you have provided us. Special thanks to Dorothea Kazzazi for guiding the scholars from the beginning up until the conference concludes.

It has been a week since the conference. None of these would have happened if I did not take the risk. Maybe this was the ‘something’ I’ve been searching for to be able to fill that emptiness inside me, even for a moment. It was truly a risk but it’s a risk I’m glad I took. Thank you to everyone, especially OSM Foundation who made my SoTM journey worthwhile. :)


In celebration of the Geography Awareness Week, Grab, Map the Philippines and OpenStreetMap Philippines co-organized a mapping party to teach people how to map, and meet other mappers. It was held at Grab PH’s headquarters in Makati and was attended by volunteers, students, government employees, NGO workers, and Grab personnel.


Celina Agaton talked about the objectives of the mapping party and also introduced her organization, Map the Philippines.

It was followed by an introduction to OSM and Tasking Manager by David Garcia.


Lastly, I gave a brief introduction about UP NOAH and UP Resilience Institute. I also introduced the mapping tasks that will be used for the mapathon. See image below.



We used the hashtag #osmgeoweekPH to track the edits by the participants. Here are the statistics:


We also gave three major awards for the users who have contributed the most during the mapathon.

Huge thanks to Grab, MapPH, and OSMPH for organizing this activity!

My FOSS4G - Boston Experience

Posted by feyeandal on 25 September 2017 in English (English).

Last August 16-19, 2017, I attended the International Conference For FOSS4G held in Boston, Massachussets, USA. It is an annual recurring global event hosted by OSGeo. The FOSS4G (Free and Open-Source Software for Geospatial) conference is the largest global gathering focused on open source geospatial software. It brings together developers, users, decision-makers, and observers from a broad spectrum of organizations and fields of operation. FOSS4G I was one of the ten travel grant awardees under the OSGeo Travel Grant Programme (TGP). Through the financial support from OSGeo and UP NOAH have provided me, I was able to attend FOSS4G. It has given me the opportunity to gain knowledge on the on-going open-source projects around the world. My participation from the conference has provided me direct access to presentations from many organizations within the open-source community, allowing me to gain valuable information about what other projects are all about and where they are focusing their efforts. Attending this conference has provided me with opportunity to learn more about the latest free and open-source software for geospatial technologies and developments, but also increase visibility for the research organization I am working for, UP NOAH. FOSS4G

Favorite Sessions

  1. Breaking Up is Easy to Do: Leaving ESRI Behind for QGIS – A Case Study FOSS4G This, perhaps, was one of my favorite sessions. Alex Cohn discussed the reasons why their organization made a transition from using ArcGIS to QGIS and explained the impacts of this transition on their everyday operations for two years.

  2. It’s About People: Putting the ‘Community’ in ‘Open Data Community’ FOSS4G This session was basically focused on solutions and challenges to empowering collaboration within the community using the MapStory project. MapStory is a free and open-source platform for crowd-sourcing global spaciotemporal data. Since it is a participation-focused open data platform, it emphasizes and revolves around the contribution of the global community.

  3. Lastly, I enjoyed listening to the talk of Steven Feldman about Fake Maps. Obviously, it was telling us about the power of maps that may mislead people through the message of the map intentionally, or through a lack of understanding. It was a fun and chill talk by Steven and I am sure that everyone loved it.

The Keynote

There were 5 keynotes for this year’s conference and I must say that one really stood out – the keynote from THE Richard Stallman. Dr. Richard Stallman launched the free software movement in 1983 and started the development of the GNU operating system in 1984. It is a free software – everyone has the freedom to copy it and redistribute it, with or without changes. It was a pretty long keynote though, but surely leaves discussion within the community about what an open-source software really is.

Wrap Up

Attending FOSS4G was quite rewarding for me. It is an opportunity that should not be missed. It was also great to meet the geo-geeks and learn so much from them.

I would want to take this chance to thank everyone involved in making this conference possible.

Next year, it will be held in Tanzania in August, and I hope to be there!

May the FOSS be with you!

Project NOAH has finished mapping the building footprints of ISAIAH’s 15 target provinces and an additional province for “good will”. The completion of its mapping initiative was made possible through the help of several organizations and individuals such as MAVC program, Aurora Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, UP Rockhounds, Geographic Society of the University of the Philippines (GSUP), Eastern Samar State University, Eastern Visayas State University, UP NSTP-CWTS program, and OSM-Philippines contributors. NOAH finished mapping the building exposure data of Abra, Aurora, Bataan, Batangas, Biliran, Camiguin, Cavite, Eastern Samar, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Leyte, Misamis Oriental, Northern Samar, Samar, Southern Leyte, and Zambales. NOAH also mapped the building footprints of Pateros and Taguig City of Metro Manila.

Philippines Before and After Edits NOAH

Stats Report

The building exposure data is essential in calculating the disaster risk of the communities. Part of the ISAIAH’s objectives is the completion of risk profiles of the 15 target provinces. With this data, local government units can formulate their disaster risk reduction and management plans and make informed decisions when they are threatened by natural hazards.

The translated building footprint data mapped by NOAH through OSM is integrated into the WebSAFE application of Project NOAH. It is a web and mobile-based impact assessment tool used to identify the number of affected people and structures when a hazard scenario (e.g. flood, landslide, or storm surge) hits a certain area. WebSAFE can help us identify the buildings exposed in hazardous area that is useful in disaster preparedness activities, especially for preemptive evacuation.

Camiguin WebSAFE WebSAFE feature on the NOAH Website showing a sample calculation of how many buildings might be affected in the event of a 3-meter high storm surge in Mambajao, Camiguin

Thank you for helping us in mapping the Philippines through OpenStreetMap!


As a part of Project NOAH’s mapping initiative, a team was sent to Region 1 for another installment of the OSM and Capacity Assessment Workshop. From 6-13 November 2016, planning and preparation for the workshop proper were done. Project NOAH sent a team with six personnel, who served as lecturers/speakers and proctors for the said activity.


The workshops’ goal is to engage Local Government Unit officials in helping Project NOAH build a disaster resilient Philippines. Since NOAH has long embraced public participation to improve emergency response and disaster mitigation throughout the country, it is but proper to take this crowdsourced and collaborative effort to the ground, thus, to the LGUs’ jurisdiction.

The schedule of the workshop was as follows:

November 8, 2016 in La Union with 57 participants (La Union Provincial Hall, San Fernando, La Union)

November 10, 2016 in Ilocos Sur with 57 participants (Baluarte Auditorium, Vigan, Ilocos Sur)

November 11, 2016 in Ilocos Norte 43 participants (Liga ng mga Barangay Office, Town Plaza, Bacarra, Ilocos Norte)

OpenStreetMap Workshop

The workshop is an introduction to the OpenStreetMap platform; it focuses on the critical facilities mapping on OSM using Java OpenStreetMap (JOSM). Many of the participants already have knowledge on the use of Geographic Information System softwares like QGIS since they come from DRR, planning, and engineering offices.


Participants were given time to digitize the critical facilities related to disaster risk reduction and management on OSM. They were introduced in the use of mobile mapping field data collection applications through the use of Smartphone applications such as OsmAnd for Android and Go Map!! for iOS. They were also taught on using Field Papers, and extracting data from OSM for use in GIS softwares.


Four months before the target workshop dates, the Project NOAH sent and forwarded emails inviting the DRRM Officers of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and La Union through the provinces’ governors.

Indeed, DRRM Officers, and even officials from other local government agencies (PNP, BFP, DOH, DILG, DSWD, among others) were present in each workshop. All of which helped in identifying their communities’ critical facilities, presented their Comprehensive Landuse Plans (CLUP), and in turn pinpointed their areas’ imminent risks.

Through the activity, NOAH was able to help harness the geographical contributions of the volunteers/participants who were engaging enough that they helped Project NOAH in looking for solutions heavily involved damage assessment and analysis activities before, during, and after large-scale emergencies.

La Union

Ilocos Norte

Activity Results

Ilocos Output The image shows the edits of the workshop participants from Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and La Union in their respective provinces on the workshop dates.

LA UNION – November 8, 2016

La Union output During the workshop in La Union, 67 points of interests (POIs), 2 lines, and 21 polygons were added. The edits are mostly in their hometowns and their neighborhoods.

Naguilinan La Union The highlighted objects are the new features that were digitized in Naguilinan, La Union by the workshop participants.

ILOCOS SUR – November 10, 2016

Ilocos Sur output The workshop participants from Ilocos Sur added 10 points of interests (POIs), 3 lines, and 22 polygons in their province, particularly Vigan, Santa, and Burgos.

Vigan Ilocos Sur The highlighted objects are the newly added features in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

ILOCOS NORTE – November 11, 2016

Ilocos Norte output The workshop participants were able to add 24 points of interests, 1 line and 74 polygons in Ilocos Norte, particularly Dumalneg, Bacarra, San Nicolas, Batac and Dingras.

San Nicolas Ilocos Norte The highlighted objects show the features that were added by the participants in San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte.

Batac City Ilocos Norte The highlighted objects are the features that were digitized by the participants in Batac, Ilocos Norte.

Problems Encountered

Most of the problems encountered were technical, just as:

  • Poor internet connection

  • Compatibility of participants’ laptop

  • Printer jammed during the Ilocos Sur workshop

However, NOAH staffs were able to address these issues efficiently and effectively and the workshops went well.

Training Team

NOAH From left to right: @arnalielsewhere, @wherehavejobyn, @neyziellexrrc_, @Joems Manong, @BakiRamos, @cloud5, @feyeandal

OpenStreetMap contributors, through the initiative of ISAIAH (Integrated Scenario-based Assessment of Impacts and Hazards) component under DOST - Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards), have recently completed mapping the building footprints of Cavite.


One of the objectives of ISAIAH is to map the exposure elements such as buildings and critical facilities. Identifying the critical facilities such as schools, hospitals, and government offices, and other infrastructures will be essential in determining the areas vulnerable to disasters and can be used as a starting point in reducing disaster risk. All of these data will be used in improving community disaster management before, during and after emergencies. This initiative involves a collaborative partnership with the OpenStreetMap community.

Last March to April, Project NOAH conducted a series of OpenStreetMap training to its staff to digitize the building footprints in the selected provinces in the Philippines using the available imagery from Bing and MapBox. The provinces were selected according to the available imagery, land area and population of the provinces, and the available population data we have from the Philippine Statistics Authority as of 2010. Accordingly, Project NOAH created a mapping task on the HOT Tasking Manager for the province of Cavite. Since then, Project NOAH staff and OSM community started contributing to the mapping task.

Cavite Tasking Manager

As of June 28, the mapping task for Cavite is 100% complete and 18% validated. This mapping initiative helped increase the number of building footprints in Cavite from 110,506 to 631,825.

Below is the image of the downloaded building footprints in Cavite as of June 28.

Building footprints mapped in Cavite after NOAH initiative

You may view the map comparison of before-and-after edits here.

The translated building footprints data from OpenStreetMap are being utilized in one of Project NOAH tools, the WebSAFE application. It is used as an impact assessment tool for end-users to be able to readily identify the number of affected people and buildings in case a hazard scenario like flood affected a certain area. Using this tool, local government units can easily identify how many relief goods are needed to be allocated when a severe weather event happens.

WebSAFE for Cavite

Thank you for helping us map Cavite!

Project NOAH recently opened a new task for the province of Zambales. Click here to help us map the province. :)

OpenStreetMap Workshop in Bogo, Cebu

Posted by feyeandal on 23 February 2016 in English (English). Last updated on 3 March 2016.

Last February 9-11, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and the Croix-Rouge Francaise hosted a 3-day OpenStreetMap workshop in Bogo, Cebu, as part of their Northern Cebu Risk Mapping project. This participatory project aims to improve the base geogspatial data coverage of Northern Cebu for use in disaster response, climate adaptation, risk mitigation, and support other humanitarian initiatives. It was attended by local government staff from Bantayan, Daanbatayan Island, Bogo, and local PRC volunteers.

  • Day 1: Introduction and Basic Editing on OSM

Day 1 consisted of an introduction to the PRC project and a general overview of OSM and OSM-Philippines. A presentation of the objectives of the data collection and an introduction to the mapping components were also given. Before the discussion of the OSM website, we had an activity wherein participants were asked to draw their vicinity map and explain their maps afterwards.

One map caught our attention, though… it’s 3D!

  • Day 2: Field Data Collection Tools and Tasking Manager

On the second day of the workshop, participants were taught how to use some tools for field data collection like Field Papers, GPS handheld devices and OsmAnd for smart phones.

Luckily, we were given an access to Digital Globe’s WorldView-2 satellite images taken on February 15, 2015. These images were humbly provided by the MapGive Project, through Celina Agaton’s initiative Map the Philippines. The image is orthorectified for terrain corrected geographic precision. Furthermore, the image has been contrast stretched using a custom stretch and processed into a Tiled Map Service (TMS) for performance. It allows the participants to use the imagery and digitize features on the map.

Tasking Manager:

We set up a Tasking Manager for this workshop. You may access the task here.

Statistics of the Bogo Tasking Manager; As of February 19, 18% of the mapping tasks was done. Long way to go! Statistics of the Bogo Tasking Manager; As of Feb. 19, 18% was done. Long way to go!

  • Day 3: Fieldwork and Quality Editing

The last day of the training involved an actual field data collection in Barangay Libertad and data processing from the field.

Members of #TeamFeye

Here is the recorded GPS track and waypoints of #TeamFeye:

… and some group photos ;) : #TeamFeye



Before we end the workshop, we asked the participants to divide themselves according to their LGU groups and to present their plans of future data collection activities using OSM.


OpenStreetMap of Bogo, Cebu showing the data edited from February 8-11, 2016: OpenStreetMap of Bogo, Cebu showing the existing data before and after the 3-day workshop

We would like to thank Mikko Tamura of Philippine Red Cross and Lucas Schott of Croix-Rouge Francaise for making this happen. We hope to see more edits from the participants in Northern Cebu.

– Thank you from OSM-Ph trainers (@rally, @GOwin, @feyeandal)!