Leyte Mapathon with U.S. Embassy

by Celina Agaton

Manila Mapathon

The U.S. Embassy, in partnership with Map the Philippines and OpenStreetMap Philippinesinvites you to a mapathon to support the American Red Cross’ Typhoon Haiyan Recovery Program in Leyte. They are currently working in 23 barangays or villages on integrated recovery programs including house construction, house repair, community infrastructure, disaster risk reduction, livelihoods and water and sanitation.

If you’re new to mapping and OpenStreetMap, we’ll teach you the basics of mapping cities and disasters. Everyone is welcome! #mapPHL

Here’s a preview of the task: https://tasks.hotosm.org/project/1129

Important: Please be sure to register here on Eventbrite with your details by noon on Tuesday, January 19 to clear embassy security. 

Saturday, January 23
8:30am to 2:30pm
U.S. Embassy Manila
1201 Roxas Boulevard
Ermita, Manila

*Please bring your laptop, and GPS or smartphone to download mapping apps. 15 computers will be available to those who need it, please note this in your registration. Complimentary pizza lunch will be served.

Many thanks to the MapGive project, the Humanitarian Information Unit (HIU) of the U.S. Department of State is providing the OpenStreetMap community access to updated satellite imagery services to help assist with humanitarian mapping.

Embassy of the United States of America – 1201 Roxas Boulevard Manila, NCR 1000 PH –View Map

Map The Philippines and Mozilla GeoWeek Mapping Party

OSM GeoWeek Mapping Party

The week of November 15-21 is Geography Awareness Week and to help celebrate, Map the Philippines and Mozilla Community Space Manila are hosting an OpenStreetMap GeoWeek mapping party on November 17 from 1-6pm.

We believe maps and community driven mapping projects can help visualize the needs and opportunities in our neighbourhoods. Maps can serve as the connecting point to coordinate and track efforts across government, business, NGOs and community groups. Which is why we support OpenStreetMap, a free and open source mapping platform supported by a community of over 2.3 million mappers that contribute data about roads, hospitals, restaurants, coffee shops and more from around the world. Learn more about becoming a mapping volunteer.

Learn about OpenStreetMap and how mapping helps visualize community needs and opportunities in disaster, livelihood, arts, heritage preservation and food security.

If you’d like to learn how to map, please bring your own laptop, tablet or GPS.
The event is free and everyone is welcome! Introductions will begin from 1:00-2:00pm.

Please register at http://geoweekmnl2015.eventbrite.com

Hashtag #mapPHL #osmgeoweek
November 17, 2015

1:00 to 6:00pm
Mozilla Community Space Manila (MozSpaceMNL)
Roof Deck, Molave Building,
2231 Chino Roces Avenue (Pasong Tamo)
Makati City, Philippines 1233

Mobile Number:

Map and Directions

2015 USAID AidData Fellows

2015 USAID AidData Fellows

Celina Agaton with the 2015 USAID AidData Fellows


I’ve had the pleasure of hosting five USAID AidData Fellows from June to August 2015 here in Manila to work on several of my Map the Philippines initiatives. This is the first time fellows have been hosted in the Philippines, and we hope to host more fellows in the future. The AidData program helps improve the planning, tracking and delivery of aid of by using maps to visualize where aid has been delivered to a nation. In many cases, aid reporting data tracks the announcement of aid being promised to a nation but doesn’t track the flow down to the region, province, municipality, barangay or village. The process of creating these maps starts with geocoding, where a program or service is assigned a geographic location so that it can be placed on a map. Plotting these locations helps create maps that visualize patterns in the delivery of aid against poverty, disaster risk, hunger and other measures that can help fine tune programming and identify whether there are gaps and overlaps in the flow of aid within and organization, and across sectors. Government, NGOs, Business and citizens provide many programs and services to help communities, but often work independently, and in silos, so mapping can provide opportunities for better coordination, collaboration and monitoring of aid.


Literacy funding (purple areas) mapped against illiteracy levels - brown to dark brown indicating higher illiteracy levels.

Literacy funding (purple areas) mapped against illiteracy levels – brown to dark brown indicating high illiteracy levels.


So far the Fellows have joined me on several community engagements across Manila and Leyte, meeting mayors, students and other community leaders, faced challenges with contacting multiple government agencies for access to data and traveled hours to remote areas with limited road infrastructure for first hand experience on the importance of mapping and open data policies for better planning and accountability across public and private sectors. They’ll compile a summary of their work here by August, stay tuned here for the final report.

The fellows are here until August 12th, and are available to provide a complimentary 1-3 hour presentation or half day geocoding workshop to your organization. Here’s more background on their presentation.

Contact me for more details.

Join Making All Voices Count Innovation Showcase

#Tech4Resilience Large Ad

The Making All Voices Count team will be in Manila for the #Tech4Resilience Pitching Competition on July 8 at Far Eastern University’s Institute of Technology. If you have a disaster or community resilient program or technology, apply to join the Innovation Showcase and meet the Making All Voices Count team. Full details are below. Apply now >>

Making All Voices Count is an international initiative that contributes towards effective governance and accountability by enabling citizen engagement and open, responsive government in 12 countries in Africa and Asia. They nurture innovative approaches to strengthening citizen engagement and government accountability. They are supported by supported by the U.K Department for International Development (DFID)U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)Swedish International Development Cooperation AgencyOpen Society Foundations (OSF) and Omidyar Network (ON).


Initiatives on Disaster Resilience and Response in the Philippines
Doing some interesting work on disaster resilience and response in the Philippines? APPLY today to share your initiatives at the Innovation Showcase on July 8th 2015 at the Far Eastern University and come meet the Making All Voices Count team!
Making All Voices Count is a 12 country programme with the goals of promoting transparency, fighting corruption, empowering marginalized citizens, and harnessing the power of new technologies to make government more effective and accountable.

One of our main program themes for the Philippines is supporting initiatives that use technology and innovation to strengthen disaster resilience and response and engage government in doing so. We would like to get to know you and your work!

Only 20 showcase spots available so please apply ASAP through this form https://goo.gl/S2jRdB today!

Philippines #Tech4Resilience Competition

Making All Voices Count

Source: Making All Voices Count

I’m partnered with Making All Voices Count on this Philippines #Tech4Resilience Challenge. Anyone can apply!  Finalists will be presenting their pitches at my Map the Philippines event June 24, please save the date.
The deadline is on June 17. Good luck!

Making All Voices Count is calling for innovative projects and creative tech solutions that can be implemented in the Philippines under the themes below. The ideas should aim at addressing Making All Voices Count’s overarching goal; transparency, accountability and better governance. Any entity from the Philippines is welcome to apply: companies, government actors, non-profits, for-profits, education establishments, NGOs or individuals.


New projects that seek to incorporate both ‘offline’ efforts with use of ‘online’/ICT tools are strongly encouraged. The two themes for which you can submit your project idea are listed below. Ideas should seek to address two or more of the guiding points under each theme:

1. Within the theme ‘Strengthening community resiliency and response to disasters’ we seek projects that:

– Use of technology and innovation to strengthen disaster preparedness and response;

– Improve governance at local level for resilience and/or responses to natural disasters;

– Uses technology and innovation to support local communities with strengthening disaster resilience and response;

– Inclusive infrastructure and social program planning and development at community level;

– Make effective use of technology to ‘make all voices count’ through active engagement of women and marginalized groups or communities.
2. Within the theme ‘Improved planning and budgeting for disaster resiliency and response’ we seek projects that:

Utilizes open-data to facilitate dialogue for change between actors;

– Better integration of planning and/or budgeting across 3 levels of government using technology and innovation;

– Follow the money on resilience/response efforts;

– Improve government coordination that mitigates against humanitarian crisis using technology and innovation;

– Make effective use of technology to ‘make all voices count’ through active engagement of women and marginalized groups or communities in disaster planning and budgeting.

Process and Awards

– Up to 10 finalists will be selected to attend Map the Philippines Unconference – 23-24 June 2015, where they will pitch their idea to a panel of judges;

– 1 – 3 winners of the competition will get incubation support for their ideas from Making All Voices Count, with mentoring. Incubation will include preparation for potential innovation grants of up to GBP 40,000 down the line, depending on (i) the development of a proposal strong enough to warrant a grant and (ii) demonstration of their capacity to successfully implement;

– Winners will have access to mentoring support, international networking and related tools and resources through Making All Voices Count’s South to South Lab.

Key Dates

– Applications open on 25 May and close on 17 June 2015 23:59 GMT
– Finalists announced on 19 June 2015;
– Pitching session and announcement of winners on 24 June 2015



The First White House Mapathon

White House Logo

I’m thrilled to have been invited to the first White House Mapathon on June 21 where they featured mapping projects like the Nepal earthquake and included my resiliency mapping project in the Philippines. The Philippines mention below links to my 2014 International Conference of Crisis Mapping talk.

The White House Office of Digital Strategy and the Office of Science and Technology Policy are pleased to invite you to the first White House Mapathon to celebrate and actively participate in Open Mapping on Thursday, May 21, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

Open Mapping, or crowdmapping, is where participants use a wiki-like approach to contribute to maps of the world. Geospatial data has been a key component of the Administration’s Open Data initiatives.
Increasingly, tools like citizen science and crowdsourcing are permitting the public to contribute to government datasets. In some cases, the public is collaborating to create data that never existed before their involvement, such as the OpenStreetMap response to the West Africa Ebola outbreak. Agencies including the Department of State, the Department of Interior, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Peace Corps, and the General Services Administration are working on crowdmapping projects.
Crowdmapping projects and participants are part of a growing innovation movement, transforming the relationship between the government and the public, and supported by United States commitments in the Second Open Government National Action Plan. The White House Mapathon will highlight these successes and engage participants in contributing to the rising efforts in Open Mapping.

The Mapathon will start with remarks and lightning talks highlighting the impact of open and crowd-sourced mapping projects. Then we will ask you to choose one of the five mapping projects outlined below and get to work mapping!

Mapathon Projects:MapGive: A public diplomacy program that supports the use of OpenStreetMap in humanitarian response and development. Participants will contribute to three sub-projects, targeting the Nepal earthquake response, public health initiatives in Botswana, and disaster preparedness and development in the Philippines. Power Service Area Mapping: Participants will contribute to a geospatial database under development by the Department of Energy, by researching public outage information so that disaster-impacted residents, tourists, first responders and relief volunteers can easily get to the information they need on scope and estimated restore times for power outages.Every Kid in a Park: The Every Kid in a Park initiative is a multi-agency effort to open our Nation’s lands and waters to all 4th graders for the 2015-2016 school year. This project will coordinate trail and facility mapping activities, further improving facility information within public lands and waters that have educational activities for kids.

After Typhoon Haiyan: Disaster and Community Resiliency

Participatory Mapping with the Municipality of Malvar, Batangas

Participatory Mapping with the Municipality of Malvar, Batangas

It’s been a while since I’ve done an update to the crisismappers network since my talk post Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan at the International Conference on Crisis Mapping, but there are lots of good things happening here in the Philippines. The White House Office of Digital Strategy and the Office of Science and Technology Policy invited me to attend the first White House Mapathon on May 21, so I’ll be in DC until May 23 if folks want to meetup.

We’ve begun my cross sector initiative to provide a comprehensive map of the Philippines on OpenStreetMap. I’ve won a grant from Making All Voices Count to develop an open source, open data platform to provide layers of data from hazards and population, to infrastructure, disaster, community and economic reslilience needs. Some of our data partners include UNOCHA, Department of Interior and Local Government, League of Municipalities, WWF and corporate, NGO and citizen networks. One of the core functions of the platform is to identify gaps and overlaps in community needs versus publicly and privately funded programs. We aim to complete the first modules of the platform over the coming weeks to prepare for the upcoming monsoon season and 7.2 earthquake in Manila. We’re targeting high risk poverty, disaster and illegal fishing and poaching areas for disaster resilient farming projects and will be mapping this data on to the platform. This is a critical time in the Philippines with an upcoming national election in May 2016, meaning a government slow down by October 2015. We want to future proof the platform to ensure our partners are networked and running regardless of the future administration and in preparation for disasters.

The U.S. State Department’s MapGive program is generously providing satellite imagery help us map base layers on OpenStreetMap. I’ve requested Bing imagery to be refreshed countrywide to support our preparations. We would also love to be included on Missing Maps soon to help fast track our mapping.

With the World Bank and Department of Budget and Management, we are working on training local government units, colleges, cross sector partners and citizens on OpenStreetMap and a suite of other mapping tools for a more participatory planning and budgeting process on infrastructure planning.

We’re also providing free OpenStreetMap workshops across the country, including 5-day mapping training series pilots with colleges to learn OSM, JOSM and other free and opensource tools. We have a local drone partner who provide 5cm/pixel imagery for infrastructure, disaster preparedness and monitoring and evaluation and helps visualize infrastructure needs for budget proposals. We’re working with USAID AidData Fellows to work on several of our programs as well.

We’ll be piloting a Map the Philippines initiative to connect local and international mappers to local tourist and at risk area mapping activities. This is in preparation for the International Conference on Crisis Mapping which I am co-organizing in late 2016 and hosting in our new 26,000 square foot arts, tech and disaster resiliency centre. After the conference we are inviting mappers to join mapping events across the country.

Week of June 15th we’ll be organizing a free OSM training in Manila to help provide support for climate change and disaster risk mapping for the Philippines to join global Climathons with ClimateKIC on June 18 for COP21. On June 24 we’ll be hosting a Map the Philippines mapping event with OpenStreetMap Philippines and OSM Founder Steve Coast. This is in partnership with Making All Voices Count and includes a pitching competition on disaster resiliency tech with prize amounts of up to GBP20,000 or US$31K following incubation. We’ll be organizing mapathons for Disaster Resilience Reduction Day on October 13 and World Food Day on October 16.

I’ll have other updates on food security and disaster resilient agriculture soon.

Thank you for all your support so far. We’ll need help with feedback and support during these critical months and hope you can join us online and in country. We’ll have more details online soon.

OpenStreetMap Philippines Workshop in Batangas

OpenStreetMap in Batangas

Under the OpenRoads initiative, the World Bank is supporting the government of the Philippines in advancing a set of policies and tools to improve strategic local road infrastructure for inclusive growth. The starting point for financing and implementation of better local road networks is a strategic map.

OpenStreetMap Philippines conducted a 2-day OpenStreetMap workshop, with SkyEye drone mapping, community consultations and the Local Government Units of Tanauan and Malvar, Batangas. A follow up visit and additional mapping events and tools are planned soon.

Update: our drone imagery is available on CC-BY license on the OpenAerial platform.

View the photo gallery on Facebook >>

Learn more:


OpenStreetMap Philippines

Map the Philippines

See you at RightsCon Manila 2015


I’m thrilled to have been invited by RightsCon to design and lead a disaster simulation at their 2015 conference in Manila. RightsCon is a premier event on internet freedom and the future of the internet. I’ll be presenting how our tools and programs begin with disaster response but are designed to help build community resiliency year round through an integrated network connecting cross sector stakeholders and citizens with their government – centered largely around mapping, open data and citizen reporting.

Our session will take place on March 25 from 1:30-2:45pm at the Crown Plaza Manila Galleria Hotel. Register here.

Preparing for the Next Haiyan: Utilizing Technology to Transform Disaster Response

From crisis to community, this session explores innovations in disaster response in the Philippines from Typhoon Haiyan and beyond. The panelists, covering sectors as diverse as telecom industry to citizen media, will share their technology-driven approaches to rebuilding communities following Typhoon Haiyan and to addressing community resiliency all-year-round. Cross-sector data mapping, drones to map and verify citizen reports, new sustainable farming practices, anti-poaching, and internet access technologies are some of the innovations being developed in partnership with local communities. These tools help form a sustainable infrastructure to identify and prioritize local community needs and high-risk areas, and to share best practices across the country.


1. Celina Agaton
Managing Director
Cross Sector Mapping|Map the Philippines


2. Gil Francis G. Arevalo
Communicating with Communities Officer
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

3. Felino Castro V
Director III, Information and Communications Technology Management Service
Department of Social Welfare and Development, The Philippines

4. Darwin Flores
Vice President
Community Partnerships
Smart Communications

5. Matthew Cua
CEO, Founder
SkyEye UAV

6. Tanya Zaldarriaga
Program Officer for Membership

7. Julius M. Bangate
Manager, Remote Sensing and GIS Laboratories
University of the Philippines and
OpenStreetMap Philippines
8. Lory Tan
Vice Chair
WWF National Advisory Council

9. Aivon Guanco
Humanitarian Accountability Manager
World Vision

10. Neil Barsch
Fulbright Scholar
Hapinoy Social Enterprise

11. Denise Celdran
Citizen Group

Many thanks to the conference sponsors for making this opportunity possible.


Oak Foundation
World Wide Web Foundation
The Internet Society

Understanding ASEAN Disaster Management

by Celina Agaton

Understanding ASEAN: Disaster ManagementAsia Society Philippines, in cooperation with AIM ASEAN 2015 Project, are hosting Part 3 of their Understanding ASEAN series on Disaster Management on Tuesday, January 13, 4-6PM at the Asian Institute of Management.

ASEAN countries are one of the most vulnerable to the growing impacts of climate change, such as storms, typhoons, and coastal flooding. Super-typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines last November reinforces the urgent need for countries to identify new approaches and ways forward for disaster risk reduction.

On January 13, panelists will discuss the prospects for better climate resiliency and disaster prepararedness for the Philippines in the context of the ASEAN integration.


Undersecretary Alexander P. Pama
Executive Director
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Office of Civil Defense

Dr. Marqueza Reyes
Technical Advisor, Disaster Risk Reduction
Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Ms. Celina Agaton
2013 Google USAID Fellow
International Conference of Crisis Mappers

Mr. Zak Yuson
MovePH Rappler

Mr. Takaaki Kusakabe
Research Coordinator for Earthquake Disaster Prevention
Research Center for Disaster Management,
National Institute for Land and Infrastructure Management
Japan International Cooperation Agency