July 8, 2012

La Trinidad Google MapUp Party

Google plays a huge part in what I do online. There's Gmail which sends and receives the bulk of my email messages. There's Blogger (Google's own blogging platform), the platform I use for this blog. There's Google Alerts, a feature I use to keep me notified and updated on the topics and stories I care about and wish to follow. There's Google Docs. There's YouTube. And of course, there's Google Search, the company's most prized arrow.

I'm a Google fan. It's one of those instances where you become a fan because you really doesn't have a choice. Google offers products and services which its competitors can't even come close to when it comes to quality. (Except probably Google Plus which as of now seems dead in the water. Thanks to the ubiquity of that thing called Facebook.)
Anyway, last week, I was given the opportunity to take part in what is known as a Google MapUp party. It's a party alright. Less the booze. It's just you, your fellow mapmakers and Google Maps. Google Maps, in a nutshell is an online map. You can use it to view in detail a particular location. The concept behind it is nothing short of genius. The millions of people who have Google accounts can add to the maps or edit them. It's like a giant user-generated content site, only this time you are pushing maps.

So the main purpose of a MapUp party is to contribute to Google Maps by naming/identifying the streets, buildings, structures, and points of interest in a certain area. In the party last week, we helped map La Trinidad. And it was fun.

One thing I realized is the huge flaw when it comes to the names of the streets/side streets of La Trinidad. You stroll through the main thoroughfare and when you come across a corner street, you don't see a sign identifying the name of the street. Do they even have names? Say Betag or Pico for instance. Almost every street in either barangay is Betag Street or Pico Street/Road. It makes me wonder how snail mail are managed in these places. I can also imagine a first time visitor here getting confused and lost because every street he comes across shares the same name as the previous one. Betag street here, Betag street there. It's insane.

It was a good day. A productive experience.

Here are a few takes from the Google MapUp party. All photos courtesy of the Baguio Bloggers Society/Cordillera Bloggers. 









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2 comments:

  1. actually that is Betag :-)
    and there are names there. although you have to ask the residents.

    And as for mail, you dont need the streets. you just need the exact house number.

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  2. Thanks Dan for this post, i too was confused with the streets,i wonder how tourists manage to navigate through these unlabeled streets, anyway with your help and other La Trinidad mappers nobody will be lost in La Trinidad anymore.

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