Filipinos may be the world’s texting champions but they are also fast becoming the most passionate Internet users in this part of Asia, the managing director of PR firm TeamAsia said Thursday.
Derek Callow, Google Southeast Asia head of marketing, said the Philippines currently ranks 2nd in the world in usage of Google Map Maker in the past six months. He said Filipino Internet users have included thousands of edits in Google Maps including street-level details of landmarks and tourist attractions in Baguio City, Iloilo City and Cagayan de Oro City.
TeamAsia managing director Michael Alan Hamlin said Filipino Internet users have become the most active contributors of Google Map Maker edits in southeast Asia since its launch last October. Not bad for a country that “only” has a projected 20 million Internet users this year, he said.
“We have seen an increase in Map Maker edits for the areas outside of the main cities which indicates the interest among Filipinos across the country to map out their local communities and contribute to this national effort. The next step is to encourage fun community-level activities to accelerate the mapping momentum, so we created a Mapping Party Kit to help Filipinos map their entire country and all 7107 islands, one party at a time,” Callow said.
Google Map Maker (www.google.com/mapmaker) was launched in the Philippines in October 2008 to provide map enthusiasts a fun, easy-to-use web-based tool to personally contribute to the building and updating of online map data for the country. The first batch of local Map Maker edits was pushed to Google Maps in March 2009, covering a substantial part of Metro Manila and provinces such as Rizal, Cebu, Davao, Guimaras and Iloilo.
Google recently organized an exclusive international Google Map Maker User Conference in Bangalore, India, to recognize and reward Mapping All-Stars from all over the world for their contributions. The top three Map Maker contributors from the Philippines — Dr. Leonel John Foronda, a physician; civil engineer Dante Varias; and Wayne Dell Manuel, a university student studying in Singapore — attended the conference where updates on mapping tools and progress reports were presented to the delegates.