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Google Map Maker Philippines Overview

I attended an intimate dinner with representatives from Google yesterday evening as they publicly unveiled Google Map Maker to the Philippine Internet community and other stakeholders.

UPDATE: Google Map Maker has added tens of thousands of edits of the Philippines to Google Maps

A friend half-jokingly said that if we joined the Amazing Race, it would be my fault that we would lose, primarily because I have a very bad sense of direction. Funny that I score really high in the Abstract Reasoning section of these IQ tests but really suck when it comes to map reading.

As someone who lives in the south of the metro (aka “the not-so-dirty south” of Paranaque), I never found the need to know what lies after Katipunan. For me it was enough to know that after EDSA, there was a huge SM that blocked my way forcing me to go either left (Mushroom Burger) or right (who knows what’s there?!?), and after Katipunan, there’s a school called UP. And that pretty much sums up 28 years of living in the Philippines.

That’s why I stick to my little niche of Paranaque, BF Homes and Makati as I fill up what I know of the not so little sandbox that is Google Map Maker.

Google Map Maker

EDIT: I had “Venus” from Google approve some of my cartography from last night with some comments such as “pls align the polygon.” So I guess it takes a little less than 24 hours to approve a few items.

Google Map Maker is not Google Maps. What it is, simply, is the “sandbox mode” of Google Maps where user-generated content populates the cartography with establishments, city landmarks, fault lines (hmmm bad for real estate companies??!!), and other objects of interest. The content is purely generated by users, and just like in Wikipedia and Digg a moderation system is enforced with checks from the community itself. When a piece of information is considered to be credible enough (via user comments and algorithms), Google moves this piece of information to Google Maps.

According to Google, organizing the world’s information entails having a better understanding of search. Since search can be traced to a geographic location, “where it is searched from” adds an entirely new dimension to your queries. Thus, Google Map Maker addresses the problem of not having high quality maps with up to date and fresh info, while giving historical information on landmarks (like demolished structures, relocated establishments and historical points of interest).

In the Philippine setting, Google Map Maker helps bring to light rural and suburban localities and their businesses with the ultimate goal of boosting commerce and tourism (searching for zoos, beaches, hotels, etc).

The process of mapping can actually be quite addicting. I’ve noticed that aside from mapping gated communities, I’ve concentrated on my niche (I’m not as hardcore as Eugene) which is to map out the locations of my favorite restaurants and bars (Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Burger Avenue, Kopi Roti, Murphy’s).

From a blogger perspective, I’m seeing that you can edit details of establishments to include photos and URL’s. So that means when you mark, say, a restaurant, you can actually enter your food review URL from your blog under the website category. Obviously, I’m not sure how this will rank in “authority” to be moved to Google Maps (this by the way does not happen overnight), but an extra bona fide public link to your post shouldn’t hurt. Besides, once the 3rd party apps get rolled out, we’re bound to see a lot of “geotagging” or “geoblogging” taking place in conjunction with the Map Maker. This was a huge request for the Google devs from people around the world and they’re very aware of the potential. No release date for these as of late (I’m not claiming that these apps will be available — I’m just saying that they make sense with the release of an API).

So why not give it a try? All you need to do is sign in with your Google account and go to http://google.com/mapmaker to map the city at your leisure.

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By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

19 replies on “Google Map Maker Philippines Overview”

huwat ? you don’t know what’s beyond Makati ? pwede pala kita iligaw sa QC. hehehehe! I’ve started mapping out some establishments along Sumulong and Marcos Highway near our vicinity. Nakakaaddict nga. Parang race to map first and claim unnamed territory. πŸ˜€ Nakailang acres na kaya ako ?

oops, sorry, URL is now corrected!

plus I am now able to give feedback on the map maker approval system. after placing around 6 tags, i have had 2 approved so far by “venus.” the comments left were to align the polygons to make cartography more clean.

im still learning how to do my legend. maybe eugene can help us out here — sometimes i don’t know if a structure should be placed as a “point” or as a “polygon.” for instance, if there’s a jollibee inside a mall, do you use the polygon tool to create the mall and use the point to map jollibee? in the same light, if the jollibee building is free standing, should i then use a polygon to map out the entire structure?

halp! πŸ˜€

Hola Jayvee, Thanks for coming to the event! We should’ve gotten you an early bird prize! LOL. It’s best to draw a polygon for the structure to make the tag more accurate, easily done when you do it on hybrid mode. Enjoy!

I love the mapmaker, the design/color, everything is better than the google-earth-graphic-clone of wikimapia. It’s fasinating that they almost have all the streets. And what’s nice about it, like if you have an iPod, it’s the one you can view on your Maps which is really helpful!

Hi,

I’m using the google map maker tiles in my website. And also the open street map tiles. Both are very detailed maps. Thank you to all the contributors! πŸ™‚

You can see it in action here. Click on the “map” button. That’s the google map maker tile. The “OS Map” is the open street map tile.

http://www.360philippines.com/areas/antipolo/

cheers,
Milo

Geo tagging with pictures on google map is also very helpful in locating persons for rescue operations, traffic situations, flooded areas, crime scene etc.

Hi Google Philippines Map Maker,

Am Elmer from San Fernando, Pampanga and new google map maker here in Pampanga. Am an architect and a realtor by profession. I usually used Vicinity Map/Location Plan in my line of work, that why I have joined Google Map Maker. On the hope to help makes a difference to our country on their need for driving direction and real estate needs.

Lowering taxes can only go so far. Corporations are playing a game, so are the wealthy, with the tax laws. Everyone does it, some legally, others not so legally. Taxes are the price you pay for a civilized society. More jobs?? Earlier this decade the government announced a “tax holiday” for corporations to entice them to bring income back from overseas to the u.s. to create jobs, etc.. all the stuff you said. Well, no jobs, in fact they decreased, and all that money? went for bonuses to executives. So, lowering taxes? Just an excuse for the corporations and wealthy to get more rich at the expense of the government and american people. you are only kidding yourself believing, or spreading lies that lowering taxes will do all the things you said it would.

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