Category: Maps

Using OpenStreetMap for Disaster Risk Reduction

3:03 am PHT

Last November 5 to 7, I and a few other volunteer mappers from the OpenStreetMap Philippines community joined the Environmental Science for Social Change (ESSC) in training the local government of Guagua, Pampanga (OSM) in contributing to and using OpenStreetMap with an eye for disaster risk reduction.

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OpenStreetMap Philippines: 2011 Year in Review

5:32 am PHT

2011 was a pretty good year for the OpenStreetMap project in the Philippines. Aside from the usual Mapping Parties, the community has organized or participated in several other events, some of them outside the Philippines. 2011 also saw the release of a more improved and usable OSM Philippine Garmin map, and OSM contributors made 2011 the best year in terms of increase of data in the Philippines (thanks to Bing).

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Mannasoft’s Philippines DigiMap is a Waste of Money

12:24 pm PHT

I was browsing the map section of Bestsellers in Robinsons Galleria in early October and I discovered this CD software named Philippines DigiMap (v2.0.0) produced by a company named Mannasoft Technology Corporation. Being the map geek that I am, I was initially intrigued by this product, which when installed (Windows only, I presume) supposedly lets you browse a digital map of Metro Manila and search for POIs (points of interest). Unfortunately, its 300-peso price turned me off. But the clincher was this notice printed on the back of the packaging:

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More 3D Buildings in Google Earth

10:57 pm PHT

More than a year ago, I blogged about the very detailed 3D buildings in U.P. Diliman that can be explored in Google Earth. And a year before that, Mike Gonzalez shared his top 10 3D Philippine sights in Google Earth. Well, I recently installed Google Earth 6 and decided to check out the current state of the 3D buildings and models in Metro Manila. The verdict? I’m quite impressed!

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Is Really Better Than OpenStreetMap?

12:25 am PHT

There are only three general crowdsourced mapping projects active in the Philippines that are worthy of note: OpenStreetMap, Google Map Maker, and Since I’m heavily involved in the project, I often write about OpenStreetMap. I’ve also written several pieces about Google Map Maker but I have never really written about save for a few sporadic mentions here and there.

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Even More Problems on the New Peso Banknotes’ Philippine Map

1:21 am PHT

Would you believe that the missing Batanes, and the misplaced markers for the Tubbataha Reefs and the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River are not the only problems with the map of the Philippines found on the new peso banknotes?

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Of New Banknote Designs and Philippine Map Errors

12:50 am PHT

I was excited to see the new peso banknote designs that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas unveiled this month and like many other people, I approve of the general graphic design as well as the inclusion of Cory Aquino on the 500-peso bill (a very popular request ever since the former President passed away). I also very much like the unified theme of featuring (mostly) natural tourist spots, fabric designs, and (mostly) endemic fauna on the back of the banknotes.

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A Huge Cavite Road Trip

12:33 am PHT

For the 2010 third quarter OpenStreetMap Mapping Party, we decided to go big and tackle the road network of Cavite. OSM had very poor data in the southern parts of Cavite and since one of our mid-term goals is to complete the basic road network of the Philippines, we decided to venture to the unmapped parts of this historic province last September 11 and map the major roads connecting the cities and municipalities of Cavite.

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Join the OpenStreetMap Cavite Road Network Mapping Party

7:07 pm PHT

This Saturday, September 11, there will another OpenStreetMap Mapping Party. This time we will be tackling the road network of Cavite, especially the southern parts. This will be the third Mapping Party this year after the Marikina and Ortigas-Mandaluyong parties last March and May.

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Before and After the Ortigas-Mandaluyong Mapping Party

2:46 am PHT

Instead of creating an extensive report of the Ortigas-Mandaluyong Mapping Party like what I did with the Marikina Mapping Party, I decided to just show the actual fruits of our labor, namely before and after looks of the map. If you want a narrative, Ian Lopez has helpfully blogged about the event from his perspective.

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OpenStreetMap Marikina Mapping Party Post-Report

2:57 pm PHT

Do you know why I think that last weekend’s Marikina Mapping Party is successful? Well for one thing, we managed to attract newbie mappers into the project. Second, we made Marikina’s OSM map even more awesome than it was before. And there’s also the fact that this Mapping Party is undeniably better organized and more polished than the two previous Manila-based OpenStreetMap Mapping Parties (Tagaytay and Cubao). But what really set this event apart from all the previous ones is The Cake.  :-)

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Join the Marikina Mapping Party!

12:41 am PHT

If you’re interested, come and help us create the best and most-up-to-date free and open map of Marikina City! It will happen this Saturday, March 20. Go to the event page at the OpenStreetMap Wiki to learn more or RSVP at the Facebook event page. See you there!  :-D

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OpenStreetMap Workshop at FEATI University Post-Report

12:07 am PHT

Last Saturday, February 20, Maning, Rally, and I went to FEATI University to give a workshop about OpenStreetMap to the Students’ Association of Geodetic Engineering (SAGE). We were invited by Sorbi, a Geodetic Engineering student of the said university and an admirer of the OpenStreetMap project. He thought that presenting OSM to his fellow students and orgmates would provide an interesting counterpoint to all the geodetic engineering lessons they are studying.

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Boracay in OpenStreetMap

5:28 pm PHT

Here’s one thing that I’d like to claim: OpenStreetMap has currently the best freely-available online map of the island resort of Boracay. Period. You can go see for yourself. It’s way ahead of the others like Google Map Maker and MapCentral.

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Adding Parking Aisles in OpenStreetMap

8:31 pm PHT

As far as I know, aside from OpenStreetMap, there is no other online mapping service that would extensively show parking aisles in parking lots. (You know, those lanes where you drive around hoping to catch an empty parking spot?) In OSM, parking aisles (tagged in the OSM database as “service=parking_aisle”) are simply specialized types of service roads ("highway=service”). So I’ve been quite crazy the past several weeks adding parking aisles to some parking lots. See the results below showing SM Southmall and Alabang Town Center with parking aisles in their parking lots marked.

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Periplus’ Manila Street Atlas is so Not Worth It

11:49 pm PHT

One of my managers at work knows that I love maps (she actually gave me four NAMRIA topomaps for Christmas) and so she told me a few months ago about this thousand-plus-peso atlas of Metro Manila that she saw at Fully Booked. Being the map geek that I am, I was of course quite curious. I was finally able to locate this atlas last month at Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street and discovered that it’s the first edition of the Manila Street Atlas by Periplus (see the Amazon listing).

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Philippine OpenStreetMap Maps now in Flickr!

7:46 pm PHT

Flickr, which is owned by Yahoo!, is probably the most popular photo-sharing site on the Web. Flickr has support for geotagged photos and the site can display maps of photos using Yahoo! Maps. Unfortunately for many parts of the world, the Yahoo! map is quite lacking. To alleviate this problem, the Flickr team decided to use OpenStreetMap for the Beijing Olympics and also for last year’s Burning Man festival.

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The OSM-BMW Meetup

11:29 pm PHT

Last June 28, Maning, Rally, and I met a bunch of guys from the BMW Car Club to talk about OpenStreetMap. The meetup happened at Centerstage KTV along Jupiter Street in Makati. The KTV is owned by Mikey, one of the club’s members. (BTW, the KTV seems to be an excellent videoke place; it’s quite similar to Red Box.)

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I Would Have Been on a Flight to Amsterdam Right Now

2:45 pm PHT

Well, I would be had my previous passport not been due to expire later in November (and I’ll explain why in a bit). By tomorrow, I would’ve been in Amsterdam to represent the Philippine OpenStreetMap community at the 2009 State of the Map (SOTM), the annual OpenStreetMap conference that started in 2007. For this year, the organizers announced back in May a scholarship program to bring 15 mappers from the developing world to attend the conference and to show the world about OSM activities in their home countries. SOTM will cover the full travel and accommodation costs for these lucky people. Out of 39 people nominated from 19 countries, I was one of the 15 selected.

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OpenStreetMap Davao Mapping Party on July 4!

11:55 pm PHT

Inspired by the success of the Tagaytay Mapping Party last May, OpenStreetMappers from Davao City decided to have their own mapping party this coming Saturday, July 4. This event is being spearheaded by George Tujan and Marloue Pidor, both of Neuraltech Innovations, an IT startup in Davao focusing on GPS and geospatial technologies.

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The Google Map Maker (Not Mapping) Party

6:15 pm PHT

It’s amusing that about a week after I derided Google’s Mapping Party concept, I was invited to attend one by Aileen Apolo, the Philippine country representative of Google, in behalf of Dante Varias and Leonel Foronda, who are apparently the two most productive Filipino Google Map Maker contributors. The event happened last June 3 at the Bubba Gump restaurant in Greenbelt 3 and it was attended by local bloggers and developers. (I guess I was invited because I am a blogger, a developer, and a Map Maker contributor all at the same time!)

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The Tagaytay Mapping Party is a Success!

11:27 am PHT

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!).

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Google’s Mapping Party Kit: Don’t Make Me Laugh

10:09 pm PHT

I love Google and all, but allow me to be snarky yet again at Google for introducing their Mapping Party Kit late last month. A Google Mapping Party is an event where you invite people to a venue, give them a presentation on Google Map Maker, and them let them try their hand at mapping their locality. The Mapping Party Kit is a simple reference website for anyone who wants to throw a Mapping Party. The site contains sample invitation letters, an agenda example, a presentation, and links to other resources such as Google blog posts about Map Maker.

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OpenStreetMap Tagaytay Mapping Party on May 16!

12:59 am PHT

In OpenStreeMap, a Mapping Party is “where a group of OpenStreetMappers and novices descend on an area to map it exhaustively, usually over a weekend.” Well, the OSM Philippines community will be having its very first Mapping Party and the area we chose is the picturesque City of Tagaytay. Shown below is how Tagaytay currently looks like in OpenStreetMap (the data is overlaid on top of SRTM3 terrain data).

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Bonifacio Global City as Seen Through Various Online Maps

11:16 pm PHT

I’ve mentioned quite a few times here and elsewhere that I consider Bonifacio Global City as the place in Metro Manila that is undergoing the most drastic development (like roads come and go and there’s always a building under construction somewhere). Because of that, I think that how various maps depict this district is one of the best indicators in gauging how updated any such map of Metro Manila is. For instance, I analyzed the 2007 edition of the Citiatlas Metro Manila atlas by examining its coverage of Bonifacio Global City.

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The Graduation of Google Map Maker Philippines

11:35 am PHT

Yuga once asked back in 2007, “Google, where’s our street maps?” Now the answer has come less than two years later when majority of the data contributed by Filipinos to Google Map Maker was recently pushed to Google Maps sometime in the latter half of February (see the official graduation announcement). To celebrate this milestone, Google held a press conference about two weeks ago. However, while what’s there right now in Google Maps for the Philippines is a vast improvement over the really laughable data before, there’s still room for improvement and Google needs to up its ante.

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Historical Satellite Imagery in Google Earth 5

2:23 pm PHT

Google Earth 5 was released last February 2 via a much-hyped launch event at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. The special feature that was unveiled (to no one’s surprise because of the many clues released prior to the event) is the arrival of Google Ocean, which lets users explore the world’s oceans in 3D. What was unexpected were the three other major features added: Google Mars, easy KML tour recording, and—the one I’m most interested in—historical imagery.

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OpenStreetMap Meetup at Grappa’s and the Future of Mapping

11:27 pm PHT

In the evening, after the Blogging Ethics Round Table, I met up with Maning (whom I’ve met before) and a several other OpenStreetMap mappers and supporters for the first ever Philippine OpenStreetMap Meetup, which was held at Grappa’s in Greenbelt 3. Over micro-brewed Czech Praha beer and some pizza, we dicussed mapping anecdotes, the need (or not) to set up a local OSM organization, the idea of setting up a mapping party, and other relevant stuff about mapping in the Philippines. Details can be read over at the OSM talk-ph mailing list.

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YOURS, an OpenStreetMap Routing Service

7:42 pm PHT

One of the cool things about OpenStreetMap (OSM) is that the data is immediately usable by anyone for any purpose. (See my OpenStreetMap category for other posts about OSM.) An end user can have access to the (massive) raw data and in fact, people have been building tons of applications using it. One of these applications that I’d like to show you is the whimsically-named Yet Another OpenStreetMap Routing Service or YOURS. Check out and play around with the simple-but-cool demonstration website. This demo site is a web application that displays optimal routes between two points you select and was launched last year.

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OSM 2008: A Year of Edits

4:06 pm PHT

Happy New Year everyone! It’s been an interesting 2008 for me and one of the online projects that I’ve been quite active in is OpenStreetMap (see my blog posts on this topic). To follow up on my post about 2008 in crowdsourced map making, check out this cool animated video showing the yearlong 2008 activity in the OpenStreetMap project. A frame of the video showing the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific region is shown above.

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A Year of Crowdsourced Map Making

2:10 am PHT

It’s been a pretty interesting year for amateur map making using crowdsourcing techniques. OpenStreetMap has been going strong while Google has released Map Maker just last June while Wikimapia followed up with their Beta website. I came across these two interesting and remarkably similar maps showing the extent of efforts in OpenStreetMap in the past year and Google Map Maker since its launch.

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Crowdsourced Road Mapping Project #3: Wikimapia Beta

1:13 am PHT

As if Google Map Maker and OpenStreetMap were not enough, Wikimapia had publicly opened their Beta website, which is yet another crowdsourced road mapping project, early last month. It seems that they had a private beta going months before and they have not opened it to the public until November. (I learned of the announcement from Google Maps Mania.)

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Google DevFest Manila 2008

5:33 pm PHT

Thanks again to Andrew, I got to attend another Google event for developers (the last one was the TechTalk last year) and this is the first ever Google DevFest Manila, which was held last November 7 at the CSWCD Auditorium in U.P. Diliman. Unlike last year’s event which was mostly a short meet-and-greet and roadshow affair with two Filipino American Google engineers from Mountain View, last month’s DevFest was a really long conference where plenty of Google engineers came not only to talk about various APIs of Google, but also to give demonstrations as well. Developer attendees were encouraged to bring along their laptops as well and to try out the demos for themselves via the intermittent free Wi-Fi from both Globe and Smart. (I actually came armed with two ASUS notebooks: my old A6500R laptop and my Eee 701 netbook.)  :-D

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Dissecting the So-called Manila Road Map

9:01 pm PHT

While reading various coverage blog posts about last month’s Google Map Maker Philippine Launch event, I came across a website that was spammed (?) in the comments section of several of those blog posts. This website is the so-called Manila Road Map and it purports to be “the most detailed road map of Metro Manila”. Of course, I, being who I am, exclaimed, “oh, really?”.

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OpenStreetMap-WaypointsDotPH Meetup

4:54 pm PHT

Last October 18, I attended a really small intimate meetup for Filipino OpenStreetMappers and contributors to WaypointsDotPH. This was held in Makati at the posh condo unit of Louie Galvez, who’s into real estate. Louie is one of the prominent people associated with WaypointsDotPH.

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Official Philippine Launch of Google Map Maker

3:00 am PHT

I was invited to attend the Google Map Maker Power User’s Launch last October 7 at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel. If you know me, you’d know that I won’t refuse such an event. Unfortunately, I arrived at the venue from work a bit too late for the presentation, but I managed to get to talk with Dickson Seow, Corporate Communications Head of Google Southeast Asia (based in Singapore), and Jason Chuck, Product Marketing Manager for the APAC region (based in Hong Kong), regarding my questions and opinions about Google Map Maker. Apparently, Dickson had been looking forward to meet me and Jason had even read some of my blog posts. I guess Aileen Apolo, the Google Philippines Country Representative, had briefed them about me.  :-P

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Google Dumps Navteq; Opens Up Map Maker for the Philippines

7:08 pm PHT

Here’s a couple of interesting development on the Google Geography department. First, the quick news item: Google has dropped Navteq as one of its mapping data providers (i.e., companies that provide street, point-of-interest, and routing data) in favor of continuing to do business with Tele Atlas. This is not unexpected since Navteq was recently acquired by Nokia and the industry movement of these two companies in the past year have made them competitors of each other. This latest move by Google was first revealed last Friday, September 19, in a blog post by Mike Blumenthal. The announcement from Google Maps Guide Adam contained this snippet:

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New Google Earth Satellite Imagery for September 2008

10:10 pm PHT

There’s still no official announcement from Google (Update, September 6: now, there’s a blog post), but readers of Google Earth Blog noticed new and updated satellite imagery in Google Earth. As usual, there’s a lag time before the data is updated in Google Maps so you won’t see the new imagery on the web yet (well, except if you have the Google Earth browser plugin).

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Georgia in Google Maps

10:49 pm PHT

Due to the currently ongoing conflict between Russia and Georgia, it has been noticed that Google, as of now, doesn’t have any data at all on the country in Google Maps. No cities, towns, roads, or points of interest—just a blank region. This lack of data also affects Georgia’s neighbors Azebaijan and Armenia. Conspiracy theorists thought that Google censored the data either at the behest of the government of Georgia or Russia, but Google was quick to dispatch a blog post saying that they didn’t have data at all in the first place. Their reason? They “simply weren’t satisfied with the map data [they] had available.”

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Playing with Google Earth Photo Overlays

7:32 pm PHT

I’ve been playing around with creating PhotoOverlays in Google Earth, and I must say, making them is hard. PhotoOverlays are a new feature in Google Earth 4.2 wherein you can place photos in 3D space such that it lines up with the underlying view in Google Earth. Note that this is different from an Image Overlay feature wherein you take a graphic (like a map) and drape it over the terrain. Shown below is how a PhotoOverlay I created looks like floating in space.

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The Upcoming Showdown Between Google and Nokia

4:45 pm PHT

Google versus Nokia? Any significant competition between these two companies was an unlikely thing a year ago since one is primarily known as an Internet service company and the other a mobile hardware company, two very different but complementary industries. Well, the events of the past several months proved that things are coming to a head and Google is now in a market battle with Nokia. If you recall, several local bloggers got to talk with Nokia Philippines last May and it was revealed that Nokia wants to venture into the online content service industry, which brings it near to Google’s territory.

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Google Map Maker Takes on OpenStreetMap?

8:07 pm PHT

Late last month, Google announced and released Map Maker, a service that lets users add streets and other underlying data that will eventually make its way to the actual map tiles that you see in Google Maps. To put it—maybe too—simply, it’s like Wikipedia for Google Maps. But this is not like Google’s My Maps service, which lets you create custom maps by adding a layer of data on top of the underlying Google maps imagery. Map Maker lets you update that underlying imagery itself. Interestingly, you can trace over the satellite imagery and this is a boon for budding mapmakers since Google has the best worldwide satellite imagery coverage among all the online mapping services.

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KML of Ferdz Decena’s Batanes Maps

12:53 am PHT

First of all, read Ferdz’ blog post. Then, if you have Google Earth, open this KML. Or if you don’t have Google Earth, you can check the KML out in Google Maps but take note that Google Maps doesn’t rotate image overlays so what you’ll see there won’t be accurate. Anyway, a screenshot of the KML as seen in Google Earth is shown to the side.

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Bloggers’ Talk with Nokia Philippines

1:50 pm PHT

A little less than two weeks ago, I and several other bloggers were invited by Nokia Philippines to a discussion over dinner at Sugi in Greenbelt 2. There, Nokia presented the global company’s future direction and solicited fedback and insights from us. Representing Nokia were William Hamilton-Whyte, General Manager, Rhomel Marcojos, head of various marketing stuff, and Nikka Singson-Abes, Corporate Communications Manager. William is actually a quite a fascinating expatriate. He’s Scottish-French, born in Kenya, and has lived in about a dozen countries before taking the country General Manager position for the Philippines’ most successful mobile phone brand.

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New Google Earth Satellite Imagery for May 2008 II

2:07 am PHT

Wow! There’s no official word yet from Google but it seems that they have updated their satellite imagery data in both Google Earth and Google Maps at the same time early tonight. Usually, there’s a lag time: Google first updates the imagery in Google Earth before porting it over to Google Maps between a week to a month later. I only recall one time that they pushed data at the same time. Well, this update is the second time this month. Update: well, the data seemed to have appeared in Google Earth about at least three days ago and was updated in Google Maps tonight.

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New Google Earth Satellite Imagery for May 2008

7:44 am PHT

It’s been seven months since new high-resolution satellite imagery was released in Google Earth for the Philippines. So on May 13, Google updated their Google Earth data with tons of new and updated satellite imagery for our country via their usual question and answer blog posts.

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“The 21 Steps”

4:46 pm PHT

“I was the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time…” so starts the intriguing short story set in the United Kingdom and told via the Google Maps API. “The 21 Steps” by Charles Cummings is the first story of Penguin Books’ We Tell Stories, a collection of six stories by six authors and released in six weeks (hmmm, 666?). We Tell Stories aims to do storytelling using the various tools, interactive or not, Web 2.0 has to offer; looking at the two stories so far released, the first uses Google Maps API, while the second uses blogs and Twitter. Interesting, isn’t it?

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More OpenStreetMapping

11:53 am PHT

One thing I did over the long weekend was to contribute some more to the OpenStreetMap (OSM) project, something I had been doing last year. This time around, I tackled various places in Metro Manila, not just the southern portions, and I added more types of data and not just streets.

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Maps of Dinagat Islands

1:07 am PHT

Two weekends ago, I finally got around to creating the locator maps of the municipalities of Dinagat Islands, the newest province of the Philippines that seceded from Surigao del Norte in 2006, for use in Wikipedia. Locator maps are maps that show the where a place is in a larger area. In this particular case, I am showing the location of the municipality within the province of Dinagat Islands. Shown below is a rendering of the locator map for the town of Tubajon.

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Early 2008 Mapping News

1:23 am PHT

Herewith are some mapping news to start the year.

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See the Barasoain Church from Space

6:14 pm PHT

Shown to the right is a satellite image of the historic Barasoain Church. Unexpectedly, this is from Microsoft’s Live Maps. Yahoo! Maps also has the same satellite image but with a different kind of image post-processing. Google Maps, on the other hand, doesn’t have any high-resolution satellite imagery of this place of worship. In fact, their imagery of the spot is quite a tease, just being 500 meters short of the nearest hi-res area—and that hi-res area is actually one of the very first places in the Philippines to have hi-res satellite images in Google Maps. Update (September 6, 2008): Google now has satellite imagery of the Barasoain Church.

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New Google Earth Satellite Imagery for October 2007

11:35 pm PHT

After a couple of measly updates to the satellite imagery in Google Earth for the Philippines last June and July that only saw Puerto Princesa City and the western shores of Laguna de Bay updated, we now have a lot of new high-resolution satellite pictures all over the Philippines, and around the world, in fact. See Google’s announcement.

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100 Sights in Vista Pinas

2:27 pm PHT

Yay! I have finally reached the 100-sight milestone on my secondary blog, Vista Pinas, where I take you on a virtual tour of Philippine-related locations in the Philippines and around the world via the satellite imagery found in Google Maps.

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Google Maps Adds Philippine Roads

10:22 pm PHT

Last month, Yuga is lamenting the lack of street maps of the Philippines in Google Maps. Well, Google announced via their LatLong blog that they have added street maps for 54 countries including the Philippines. Previously, only Thailand and Singapore had street-level maps in Google Maps in Southeast Asia. Well, excited I checked out Metro Manila in Google Maps and came out extremely disappointed. See the screenshot below.

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OpenStreetMapping My Neighborhood

6:10 pm PHT

Ever since I discovered that the OpenStreetMap (OSM) project expanded their coverage to the whole world, I was excited to map out my neighborhood since I saw that my area is still virgin territory yet untouched by Philippine-based OSM contributors. You can actually add data on the site itself using their Potlatch web app. It’s a slick Adobe Flash-based application that provides a rudimentary, yet powerful map data editor and can directly show Yahoo! Maps satellite imagery for tracing streets. The other popular way of adding data is via the JOSM Java-based desktop application. JOSM is intended for power users and serious OSM contributors.

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Night Sky in Google Earth!

12:20 am PHT

I really try to avoid back-to-back Google posts, but this new feature/product/service by Google is too good to pass up posting about. Download the latest version (4.2) of Google Earth then switch to the Sky view by clicking the astronomy icon in the toolbar or selecting the “Switch to Sky” menu option under the View menu. You’re now presented with a view of the night sky!

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Google Maps Now Made Even More Shareable

11:02 am PHT

It was inevitable that Google has now made Google Maps much more shareable. It’s now as easy to post your very own pannable and zoomable Google Maps in your blogs and websites as you do with YouTube videos. Just browse Google Maps as usual, find the location you want to showcase, add markers via the “My Maps” tab, and then click on “Link to this page” link beside the upper-right corner of the map. Copy the contents of the second textbox and paste it to your blog or website. It’s that easy! You can find more information and examples at the Google Lat-Long Blog.

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Tropical Cyclone Tracks from 1985–2005

11:34 pm PHT

It’s been a rainy week this week, and it seems the Filipino’s collective prayer for rain to stave of the impending water crisis worked. Well, it did cause a helluva lot of traffic last Wednesday, but at least we’re all safe, right?

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OpenStreetMap Does the Philippines

4:43 pm PHT

I’ve heard about OpenStreetMap (OSM) (see the Wikipedia article) maybe one or two years ago and was interested in the collaborative aspects of it. This mapping project aimed to create a free (as beer and in speech) street geodata of the whole United Kingdom and Ireland. While Great Britain already has excellent mapping data care of the Ordnance Survey (the national mapping agency of the UK), the problem is that this data is not free (as in beer and speech). The Ordnance Survey holds the copyright to the mapping data and charges people who want to use it, despite being funded by taxpayer’s money. So the OpenStreetMap project was born.

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New Google Earth Satellite Imagery for July 2007

11:15 pm PHT

Almost two months after Google updated their satellite image data for Google Earth, they have again updated their data last July 26. If you’re a longtime reader of this blog, you would expect me to keep on top of these updates.  :)

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I’m a Guest Blogger at Google Sightseeing!

11:25 am PHT

Check it out! When the guys over at Google Sightseeing decided to let their readers write their own posts for Google Sightseeing instead of their usual method of soliciting suggestions, I immediately took the opportunity to get the first ever Philippine spot featured on their popular site (and to plug my blog and Vista Pinas as well  :)). Anyway, the Philippine spot I wrote about is the Mactan Shrine in Cebu. I figured that because this historic landmark features an obelisk dedicated to Ferdinand Magellan, whose expedition is the first to successfully circumnavigate the world, a write-up about the shrine would appeal to an international audience.

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Yahoo! Has Satellite Images of Manila and Davao

11:47 pm PHT

Playing catch up with Google Maps, Yahoo! last year added satellite imagery to their Yahoo! Maps website. Naturally, being the map geek that I am, I checked out their offering last year and was disappointed to find out that they didn’t have any high-resolution satellite imagery for the Philippines, unlike Google Maps which had some back then.

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Globe and Google Earth

10:47 am PHT

Have you seen those recent Globe TV commercials that featured Kim Atienza on location? I noticed that they showed a map of the Philippines and zoomed in on the locations where the “reporter” was. I suspected that Globe used Google Earth to create those zooming scenes and I only became definitely sure when they zoomed into the satellite image of an under-construction Market! Market! in Taguig in one of their commercials.

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The Making of Lakbayan (Part 2)

6:26 pm PHT

Here’s the second part of the story behind Lakbayan. You should also read the first part or the launch blog entry if you haven’t done so.

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The Making of Lakbayan (Part 1)

3:41 pm PHT

As promised, here’s the follow-up post for those interested in the technical and behind the scenes details of Lakbayan. This goes out especially to all those people who have been asking me how I implemented the grading system.

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Lakbayan: How Much of the Philippines Have You Visited?

1:31 am PHT

Today is the 109th anniversary of the Philippine Declaration of Independence and I’m celebrating it by launching the beta version of Lakbayan! See how much of the Philippines you have visited! To whet your appetite and give you a preview of what to expect, my personal result is shown below.

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New Google Earth Satellite Imagery for June 2007

2:53 pm PHT

As anticipated by Google Earth enthusiasts, Google has updated its public satellite imagery in Google Earth (see the announcement). I checked in Google Earth and it seems that in the Philippines, only one new Digital Globe image was added: Honda Bay in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. Shown below is the world-class Dos Palmas Arreceffi Island Resort in Palawan.

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OMG: Google Maps Street View

7:58 am PHT

Oh. My. God. This has got to be the coolest thing I have ever seen on Google Maps by far. Google has now integrated street-level panoramic views of practically every street in 5 U.S. cities: New York, San Francisco, Miami, Denver, and Las Vegas. The photos only require a flash player, is zoomable, pannable 360°, and it’s interactive! You could practically do a virtual drive around these cities! It’s almost as good as being there.  :D

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Introducing Vista Pinas

3:12 pm PHT

After months of planning and setting up, I am extremely pleased to announce that we have finally launched Vista Pinas, my second blog where I give you a virtual tour of Filipino sights as can be seen from satellite imagery found in Google Maps and Google Earth. It’s like Google Sightseeing done Pinoy-style!

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Drive from Newfoundland to the Canary Islands

5:22 pm PHT

The Google/GIS blogosphere is having a field day with the Google Maps easter egg instructing you to “Swim across the Atlantic Ocean” at a distance of 5,572 kilometers (taking 29 days) if you want to drive from any point in the continental USA and Canada to Europe. See for instance any of these posts: Kottke, Google Blogoscoped, Metafilter, and The Map Room.

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Google Maps/Earth Updated Coverage 2

9:55 pm PHT

Google has updated their data for Google Earth and Google Maps last February 28. In terms of Philippine content, I only see just a few more areas with high-resolution satellite imagery care of Digital Globe. Below is my updated hi-res coverage map. (See the previous version.) The blue spots show areas with added hi-res imagery. The red spots indicate places with already existing hi-res coverage.

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Topographic Maps Using SRTM3 Data

11:32 pm PHT

Last weekend, I played around with the public domain data obtained by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission or SRTM. I wanted to use this data to create topographic maps that I can contribute to Wikipedia.

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Tokyo Train History Map

12:12 pm PHT

On an infographic whim, I decided to create a map showing the train lines and stations I visited during my last two trips to Japan. Follow the thumbnail link above to see the full-size version.

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What’s the Missing Place?

2:40 am PHT

As a follow-up to my earlier game, let’s have another one!  :) Follow the thumbnail link below to see a special map of Metro Manila and Rizal. The map shows several roads and points of interest. While the selection may seem random, your job is to find out what place is missing from the map.

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Google Maps/Earth Updated Coverage

1:56 am PHT

Following-up on my previous post about the updated satellite imagery in Google Maps and Google Earth, below is version 2.0 of the Philippine hi-res coverage that I have shown before. The bright blue spots on the map below indicate the areas that have added high resolution satellite imagery. The red spots indicate the areas that already have hi-res photos.

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Cloudless Makati in Google Maps!

7:51 pm PHT

Hooray! Due to the most recent update (October 3) of Google Maps/Earth satellite imagery data, we now have a seamless, and more importantly, cloudless, satellite view of practically the whole Metro Manila!  =D Finally, the Central Business District of Makati is now shown in all its glory! For example, here’s PBCom Tower, the country’s tallest building.

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Citiatlas 2006

4:51 pm PHT

Just bought for myself the 2006 edition of Asiatype’s Metro Manila Citiatlas. I got their two previous editions before but I seem to have lost them. (More likely, my father hoarded them for himself.  =p) This latest edition is definitely a lot better.

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Google Maps Now Has the Updated Satellite Imagery

8:26 am PHT

That was fast! Via Google Maps Mania I read that Google Maps now has the same new satellite imagery that I mentioned before. Wheee!

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Google Maps: Before; Google Earth: After

6:48 pm PHT

Since there’s a lead time between the introduction of new satellite imagery in Google Earth and its deployment to Google Maps, you can use the lead time to spot interesting before-and-after scenes. And we’re in the middle of such a lead time right now, due to the recent update in Google Earth.

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Google Earth Hi-Resolution Coverage

5:27 pm PHT

Well, sorry for the Google Earth-related posts but I’m just excited. Hehehe. Anyway, I explored the Philippines on Google Earth and compiled all the areas with high-resolution images into the image below. The red spots (they’re not exact) mark those areas.

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Kennon Road in Google Earth

11:42 am PHT

When I found out that Metro Manila, among other Philippine cities, have hi-res satellite imagery in Google Earth, I lamented the fact that I still don’t have broadband access since Google Earth works much much better on when you have fat data pipes. (See this thread over at SkyscaperCity (old dead link) for a whole bunch of Google Earth screenshots.)

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U.P. Diliman Google Maps Mashup

3:46 pm PHT

I believe I have created the first Philippine-related Google Maps mashup that is more than just placing points on a map. I remembered recently that I have scanned before an aerial photography plate of the University of the Philippines, Diliman area from the early 90s. (These plates are used by U.P. Geodetic Engineering students in their courses.) So last night, I had this brilliant idea to create a custom map in Google Maps with the aerial photography as a new map type. So now I’m proud to present my University of the Philippines, Diliman Map Mashup located at my dormant U.P. community site (which I plan on reviving soon). Please select the “Aerial” map type to view the “new” imagery.

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When Will Google Have Metro Manila in Hi-Res?

7:24 pm PHT

DigitalGlobe, one of Google’s sources for satellite imagery already has a composite image of Metro Manila in high resolution. This imagery was taken in 2004 and the next one will be in 2007. When will Google incorporate this into Google Maps/Earth?

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Google Maps Updated Imagery

9:17 pm PHT

Yay! Due to a recent update of Google Maps’ data, satellite imagery is now at par with what Google Earth has. What does this mean? We now have hi-resolution imagery of five cities in Mindanao! We can now spy on Cagayan de Oro, Davao City, Cotabato City, Butuan City, and Bislig City. More playing grounds for my other blog.  =)

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Kawasaki-Kaizuka Weekly Mansion

7:48 pm PHT

Just a quickie post. I currently staying Kawasaki-Kaizuka Weekly Mansion which you can see here. If you couldn’t tell, switch to the Map view. It’s the dark gray building nearest the 7–11 on block 13 at the center of the map.  =)

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Revisiting Manila from Space at Night

6:17 am PHT

Following up on what I threatened to do before, I took some time yesterday to annotate that picture taken by astronauts at night. Ta da!

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Experimenting with Google Maps API

12:07 am PHT

I’ve added a beta Map page to my second blog, Tanawing Pinoy, (now named Vista Pinas). Like the original Google Sightseeing, I plan this page to be an interactive embedded map pointing to all or a subset of the featured sights from the blog.

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Tanawín ang Pilipinas

3:32 pm PHT

I’m proud to introduce to you Tanawing Pinoy, my weblog dedicated to highlighting Pinoy sights from Google Local. Well-versed web surfers will recognize that this blog is really just a localized Pinoy version of the popular Google Sightseeing blog.

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Global Monstrosity

3:37 am PHT

Being a person with good spatial intelligence, some talent for visual arts, and technical inclinations, it’s not a surprise that I’m a map freak. I love maps; I probably wouldn’t mind a job in the field of cartography or geographical information systems (GIS). And don’t be surprised if you find me poring over those you-are-here maps longer than the average person.

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I Can See My Church From Here!

2:48 pm PHT

In a reference to the oft-mentioned phrase, “I can see my house from here!” I’d like to show you the Google Maps Satellite view of the Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Philamlife Village, where my family goes to mass every Sunday. (See also my earlier post on Google Maps Satellite view).

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Google Satellite

8:10 pm PHT

This is really cool! Google last year acquired this satellite imaging company called Keyhole. And this year, Google launched Google Maps, one of the slickest webapps I’ve ever seen. People probably saw this coming but Google recently combined the two technologies and added satellite views to their Google Maps offering.

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