Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Google Mapping Craze

I first encountered Google Maps back in 2007. Some of my high school classmates uploaded a few satellite photos of their house. I initially thought that they owned their own satellites. Funny but true. Then, an old friend of mine told me that they used Google Maps. I never thought that Google would actually have that kind of feature because I thought it was just a search engine. No more, no less.

After familiarizing myself with Google's then newest feature, I instantly fell in love with it because I found it interactive and informative.

Anyway, fast forward to 2012.

Three weeks ago, Kuya Avel of GenSantos.com invited me to attend the Mindanao-leg of Google Mapping Summit which was held at STI College in General Santos City.

I immediately responded to his invitation. Good thing GenSan is only three hours away from Davao City.

Kevin and I boarded the non-stop bus to the Tuna Capital five minutes before five in the morning last April 21. We arrived so early that the venue was still closed. Kevin just waited there while I went to the nearest McDonalds to eat breakfast.

Anyway, registration started at around 8:30 AM. The mapping summit was attended by some experts from Google who came all the way from Singapore and India. I didn't expect that this summit would be a star-studded one.

Roughly, there were more than a hundred participants who attended the Google Mapping Summit.

Basically, these are the topics that were discussed during the summit:

1) Improving local tourism - Tourists need map in order to explore the place properly. And because maps are becoming handy these days, updating one's locality is today's top priority. There are some places in Mindanao, particularly in Tacurong and Kidapawan that aren't completely mapped. Even the mountainous parts of Davao City share the same predicament. Through Google Map Maker, this will help tourists to locate establishments and other places. The more information we have on a certain place, the more it is enticing to visit. Who would want to visit a place that lacks basic information? No one does.

2) Be a map maker - You only need a Gmail account in order to edit the map of your locality. You don't need to become an affiliate of Google. Your local knowledge about your hometown is already enough. The moderators will just approve your submissions.

3) Disaster Preparedness - Remember when Ondoy struck Manila last September 26, 2009? Well, Google Maps played a significant role in locating the whereabouts of the missing people. Another similar incident occurred in Brisbane just last January 2011. The aerial view of the city was covered with brown floodwater. With the help of Google Maps, rescuers were still able to find the victims and bring them to safety.

4) Solving Crimes - Locating those criminals will be easier, with the help of Google Maps provided if the map is detailed and up-to-date.

Sister Mapper

People coming from different walks of life - businessmen,  students, bloggers, police officers and even a nun attended this summit. 

As a traveler, I can really tell that maps are very important. Days prior my trip, I would search the map of my destination at Google Maps and study it. Often times, I would end up disappointed due to lack of information. Now, you can be a map maker of your own province! Your contribution to Google Maps is a big help in promoting our country indirectly.

Me and my uber cool Google shirt! :P

I would like to commend the Socsksargen Bloggers for the success of this event, especially to Kuya Avel Manansala of GenSantos.com and Kuya Orman Manansala of gandaeversomuch.com. Mapping has been more fun in Google!

Sox Bloggers!

Davao and Sox Bloggers REPRESENT!

PTB Mindanao Bernie, Renz, Doc Remo, Bariles, Kevin and Con Tour with Google Map Speakers and Map Making Moderators

Now, time to map up my city.


  1. it sure helps as some spots simply deserves a photo. tourists actually use google maps to check out the location and the photos comes as a bonus.

    I hope they will soon make something like the 3D type of a city like the one that i saw in Venice using Google maps.

  2. Anonymous7:17 PM

    Oh yes! Mas maganda talaga 'pag 3D

  3. That is where Google SketchUp enters the scene. Like MapMaker, SketchUp lets you create a 3D rendering of your building and have it uploaded on Google Earth. Also, 3D buildings on Google Earth are not very detailed since the main aim is to create a 3D representation of the place without overwhelming an average internet user's bandwidth. Try it, nakakaadik! :D

  4. I used Google Maps a lot especially when we're planning to go to places that we're not familiar with. it's also very helpful when you're looking for a house or property to buy because you can view the neighborhood without spending time and gas going to and fro the place...

  5. You are lucky to be an attendee on this kind of refreshing activity. very substantial and relevant topic in today's modern world.

  6. I come across of Google mapping every now and then but hasn't really tried exploring and finding out how it works.

    But reading this post is just however very timely for me. I am looking forward for an out of the country trip some time soon and perhaps the idea of Google mapping will help.

  7. yay! that was a great seminar to learn more the famous Google, good for you :-)

  8. thanks for this info..
    cge nga ma map din yung place namin..
    oi..love the shirt..hehehe
    kala ko din dati mr.google is for search lang din..