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The Tagaytay Mapping Party is a Success!

11:27 am PHT

 View of Taal Lake from Tagaytay.

I announced last month that there would be an OpenStreetMap Mapping Party in Tagaytay last May 16. Well, this post is quite late but I’m pleased to report that the Mapping Party was pretty much a success! I actually already blogged about it at my OSM diary, but that is for the OSM audience and not for general readers. This blog post would be for the latter’s consumption (i.e., you!).

The idea for a Mapping Party (a “real” one with GPS units and actual surveying—none of that sit-together-in-one-place nonsense  ;-)) was first brought up at the Philippine OSM mailing list last February and a date was set for March 14. Unfortunately due to scheduling circumstances, many could not come at the last minute and so the plan was postponed. In April, the idea was revived again and May 16 was the agreed upon date. Fortunately we had eight mappers who were able to come on that day.

Since Tagaytay is such a nice place to go to, many of the mappers brought their family to enjoy the place. One dropped his family off to relax at Sonya’s Garden, while another brought his family to spend time in Tagaytay itself, while other family members joined along for the ride.

Our meeting place was at Starbucks at that popular restaurant complex overlooking Taal Lake. The planning was quite ad hoc and we decided just then to split ourselves into 4 groups. One tackled the western peripheries of Tagaytay, another is in charge of the area around the City Hall, between the Indang and the Mendez roads. A third team was assigned to the region between the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Road and the Aguinaldo Highway, while my team was assigned to the eastern portion of the city after the Sta. Rosa Tagaytay Road. I paired myself with Ian, a fellow Wikipedian, and he is accompanied by his mother since he’s still a minor. (You know how mothers are.)  :-)

I personally like the eastern part since this is where many of the interesting Tagaytay sights are located. This area is where the touristy People’s Park in the Sky and Picnic Grove are located. The eastern part is also where the high-end exclusive residential developments like Crosswinds and Tagaytay Highlands are found. Shown below are the results of our efforts to map the two aforementioned tourist spots. I’m willing to bet that you won’t find such detailed maps of these two places anywhere else online.

 OSM maps of Picnic Grove and People’s Park in the Sky

We tried entering Tagaytay Highlands but we were barred entry at the gate. We had better luck at Crosswinds where we posed as potential real estate buyers. Well, I was long interested in taking a peek at Crosswinds and now that I’ve seen it, I can definitely say that the real estate there is a pretty good investment (Tagaytay is a favorite retirement location and Crosswinds fits the bill), except that I don’t have money to invest.  :-P We weren’t able to map as much of Crosswinds as we would have liked since we were accompanied by an agent and so we only have the main road going to the information center mapped.

Ian and I also went to as many side streets as we can. We actually overshot the area and ended up outside of Tagaytay in a couple of instances: once into Cabuyao, Laguna, and another into Silang, Cavite. I also managed to practice my mane obra (in-place U-turn) enough to last me the rest of the year. Hehehe.

Shown below are the before and after OpenStreetMap Cycle Maps of Tagaytay (see the normal map). We definitely weren’t able to map all streets (it would take much more than a single day to do that) but what we have now is much, much better than what was available before anywhere online. We also managed to collect possibly hundreds of POIs (points of interest) such as restaurants, churches, and retreat houses.

 OSM map of Tagaytay as of May 10

 OSM map of Tagaytay as of June 3

In the tradition of other OSM Mapping Parties elsewhere in the world, fellow mapper Maning Sambale created the party render animation showing the progress of mapping. It’s a pretty cool video.  :-D

The official documentation of the Tagaytay Mapping Party can be found at the OSM Wiki (it’s still incomplete) if you want to learn some more. In addition, Maning and Ian have blogged about the event:

I think that there will be one or two more local Mapping Parties this year (one will be held in Davao soon). Just holler if you want to join one. It’s fun!

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