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  • Yhogen Boy V. Julve || Viscan YouthMappers

Mapping Triumphs: Viscan YouthMappers' Journey to Success in 2023

Established in April 2022 and officially recognized at Visayas State University (VSU) in August of the same year as an interest-based student organization, we, the Viscan YouthMappers, have grown from a modest beginning to over 100 members in 2023. This year marked a significant milestone as we opened our doors to all VSU students, fostering a community committed to impactful mapping initiatives.

From our humble start with just over 20 members, Viscan YouthMappers has garnered recognition as the Most Outstanding Organization at VSU in our inaugural year. Now, in 2023, our focus remains on utilizing geospatial technologies to spearhead mapping initiatives that contribute to local, national, and international communities. This is our story of growth, recognition, and meaningful impact – the journey of Viscan YouthMappers.

Mapping of Fire Hydrants as Baseline Date for Fire Emergency Response in Leyte Province, Philippines

In our first activity this year, we collaborated with the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) units in Albuera, Baybay City, Inopacan, and Ormoc City, in the province of Leyte, Philippines, to map fire hydrants for more effective fire emergency response. Engaging 83 VYM members, we utilized Kobo Tools for data collection, successfully mapping 79 fire hydrants. Following validation, we produced four printed maps for the BFP units and shared an online map created using uMap. This initiative enhances local emergency preparedness by providing crucial baseline data to the respective municipalities and cities.

Project MaPaGuaPa

Project MaPaGuaPa stands out as another impactful initiative we created. Focused on mapping student housing in the MaPaGuaPa (Marcos, Pangasugan, Guadalupe, and Patag) area, these key barangays near Visayas State University house various accommodations for VSU students also known as Viscans. Throughout this project, we successfully mapped approximately 170 student housing units using Kobo Tools, providing essential details such as monthly rental prices, amenities, and housing types. Utilizing the gathered data, we developed an online map using uMap, which serves as a comprehensive guide for the VSU community, simplifying the housing search process. Our primary goal in initiating this project was to assist Viscans in finding their preferred student housing while supporting housing owners in effectively promoting their accommodations.

Mapping for Inclusivity and Accessibility 

In collaboration with the VSU Dean of Students Office, we undertook the mapping of wheelchair ramps, toilets for persons with disabilities (PWDs), and parking spaces across the entire campus of our university. Aligned with our mission, this initiative contributes to VSU's broader goal of fostering inclusivity and accessibility throughout the university campus. By creating this mapping endeavor, VYM strives to make a meaningful impact and support the university's vision of becoming a more inclusive and accessible educational institution for all.

Mapping for Salingkusog 2023 and 37th Regional SCUAA

Dedicated to fulfilling our mission of supporting the university, Viscan YouthMappers actively contributed to the organization of Salingkusog 2023 and the 37th Regional State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association of the Eastern Visayas in the Philippines. Our involvement included mapping parade routes, athletes' accommodations, playing venues, transportation hubs, as well as security and emergency facilities. This initiative aimed to enhance the overall hosting of these sporting events, providing valuable assistance to both participants and spectators in navigating the proceedings seamlessly.


MAPAangat, a fusion of "mapa" (maps) and "angat" (elevate), stands as a dedicated initiative within our organization, aimed at elevating our mapping prowess. This monthly program immerses our members in various mapping platforms, expanding their knowledge of geospatial technology. Beyond skill development, MAPAangat seeks to connect our members with the vibrant mapping communities, offering insights into the extensive landscape of mapping enthusiasts not just in the Philippines but also across Asia and around the globe. In the inaugural month, new members underwent training on the digital data collection tool, Kobo Tools, and gained insights into the Open Mapping Hub – Asia Pacific through a session by Sir Mikko Tamura, AP Hub Community Manager. The second month introduced members to Mapillary through the UpSkilling Series led by YouthMappers Regional Ambassador, Ms. Feye Andal, providing a window into the world of lady mappers with a session by GeoLadies PH founding member, Ms. Leigh Lunas.

MAPAlibre Mappers Training

In celebration of GIS Month, Viscan YouthMappers joined forces with the VSU Department of Geodetic Engineering (VSU-DGE) and the Geodetic Engineers of the Philippines - VSU Students’ Chapter (GEP-VSUSC) to conduct training sessions for students. The focus was on equipping them with skills in creating map layouts and sketch plans. The objective of this collaborative effort was to provide a free map-making service for residents and employees of VSU, as well as neighboring communities. This initiative not only celebrated GIS Month but also promoted community engagement and the practical application of geospatial technology for the benefit of the broader community.

GIS and Kobo Tools Training 2023

Collaborating with VSU-DGE and GEP-VSUSC, we organized a complimentary training session in GIS and digital data collection using Kobo Tools. The training was exclusively offered to selected participants from the College of Engineering and Technology (CET) at VSU. The aim was to assist CET students and instructors in advancing their knowledge and expertise in the geospatial field and introducing them to a new and valuable tool for data collection. This initiative underscored our commitment to fostering skill development and expanding the horizons of individuals within the university community.

GEC x GISC 2023

In collaboration with VSU-DGE and GEP-VSUSC, we hosted a two-day Visayas-wide Geodetic Engineering Conference and GIS Congress. This event provided a platform for participants to explore cutting-edge technologies and advancements in the field through insightful talks delivered by various industry experts in geodetic engineering and GIS. The conference served as a valuable opportunity for knowledge exchange, fostering a dynamic environment for professionals and enthusiasts to stay abreast of the latest developments in these rapidly evolving fields.

Pista ng Mapa 2023

Twelve members, including myself, participated in the Pista ng Mapa 2023, a three-day conference hosted by the University of the Philippines Tacloban College. This event offered a perfect mix of intellectual engagement, skill-building workshops, networking with diverse YouthMappers chapters and mapping communities, and a celebration of our shared commitment to open mapping. A highlight for our organization was when I presented our mapping of fire hydrants project, emphasizing the impact and importance of our initiatives to fellow participants. The experience was not only enriching but also strengthened our connection to the broader mapping community.

Humanitarian Mapping Initiatives

Demonstrating our commitment to humanitarian causes, we actively respond to calls for humanitarian mapping initiatives. Our members have made significant contributions to various initiatives, including but not limited to the Turkey-Syria Earthquake and the Open Climate Fellowship. Through our active participation, we aim to leverage our mapping skills and expertise to support and contribute to initiatives that address pressing global challenges and provide assistance in times of need.

The triumphs of 2023 stand as a testament to Viscan YouthMappers' resounding success, a feat made possible by the unwavering dedication of our members, officers, and esteemed advisers, Dr. Jannet C. Bencure and Engr. Celestial A. Manigo. Gratitude extends to the invaluable support from our open mapping mentors Ms. Feye Andal, Sir Mikko Tamura, Ms. Leigh Lunas, Sir Ben Hur Pintor, and Sir Can Unen. Special appreciation is owed to the Open Mapping Hub Asia Pacific, OSM Philippines, and Smart CT for their generous sponsorship, enabling the realization of several impactful activities. As we usher in 2024, our resolve remains steadfast: to further empower our members for heightened contributions to local and international communities and expand our engagement in diverse humanitarian mapping initiatives. The journey continues, fueled by our commitment to making a positive and lasting impact.

About the Author:

Yhogen Boy V. Julve is a senior student studying Bachelor of Science in Geodetic Engineering at Visayas State University. He is one of the founding members of the Viscan YouthMappers and is currently one of the organization's officers.

1 則留言

Ivy Perez
Ivy Perez

Nice! #ViscanYM

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