Twelve students from the Viscan YouthMappers (VYM) of Visayas State University participated in the Pista ng Mapa 2023 hosted by the University of the Philippines Tacloban College, Tacloban City, Leyte last November 21-23.

Noel Filemon Gayrama, Yhogen Boy Julve, Robeth Kathleen Datoy, Patricia May Escarlan, Chris Jhunwyn Taghap, Mhejoy Aninao, Deah Delmonte, Oshzha Bea Shekinah Zaldua, Benson Clark Dagalea, Ivy Perez, Mark Gil Cabangal, and Marvin Jay Lumagod have been selected to take part in a three-day conference of talks, workshops, and community events related to open mapping.

Meanwhile, Yhogen Boy Julve, a senior geodetic engineering student and the Executive Officer of Viscan YouthMappers, presented their project entitled ‘Mapping of Fire Hydrants as Baseline Data for Fire Emergency Response in Leyte Province, Philippines” during the parallel sessions under Lightning Talks.

In an interview, Julve said that this project is important because it will serve as the baseline data of firefighters whenever there is a fire emergency. Since fire hydrants are the critical source of water supply for fire emergencies, it is crucial for firefighters and fire volunteers to know the locations for an efficient and effective fire emergency response.

“Presenting this project to the participants of Pista ng Mapa will let them know the initiatives that VYM is doing, and it also serves as an opportunity to share the power and importance of mapping initiatives to support various communities,” Julve added.

Further, both Julve and Perez received the Mabiskugon Award while the Viscan YouthMappers accepted the Pinaka Awesome (OSM) Award. The said awards gave recognition to the best YouthMappers Chapters in the Philippines for their contribution to OpenStreetMap and in the Mapping Community.

Pista ng Mapa is a national conference held annually since 2019 to promote the use of and encourage public participation in open (geo)data, free software (FOSS4G), and related technologies. This year’s conference, which coincides with the 10th anniversary of Super Typhoon Yolanda, highlights the importance of open mapping in times of disaster and will serve as an opportunity for the local community and geospatial practitioners, experts, and developers from around the country to explore emerging open-source technologies that can aid in mitigating the impact of future calamities.

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