[talk-ph] OpenStreetMap.org.ph and myself.

Ahmed Farooq ahmed at enthropia.com
Mon Dec 15 21:06:53 GMT 2008

Hi guys,


I've been on this list for a while, and been quiet, just getting a feel for
how things work. I just wanted to take a quick time to introduce myself.


My name is Ahmed Farooq, and I am a Canadian based in NYC (my wife is doing
her grad studies here).  Around 1998 I teamed up with a Filipino and started
working in the online space (we were partners - not any of that outsourcing
stuff). Since then we have grown and worked in many areas.


For the past few years one of our interests has been in the Filipino
internet space, and promoting growth with-in. By that I imply projects by
Filipinos for Filipinos. One of our earliest advocacy sites was
PayPalNow.com.ph - used to urge PayPal into offering full PH services. Our
company was a World Reseller with PayPal, and I myself was asked by PayPal
to do an interview in a Canadian newspaper a few years back.


As you know - PayPal did come. Whether because of our attempts or not, it
got a good taste in our months.


Since then we have been quietly figuring out what to focus our efforts on. I
donated to the OSM project over a year ago - before they had integrated
TIGER data into the system (the donation was meant to spur that process). As
someone concerned about one company having too much power on the internet,
the OSM project offered a fresh breath of air into the world of mapping.


My own exposure to the OSM PH portion came through Eugene - I had found his
site through TopBlogs.com.ph and had contacted him a long time about mapping
in the Philippines. It was a few months after that initial conversation when
I found out how expansive the OSM PH portion was.


Our goal with Openstreetmap.org.ph is very simple - raise awareness and
educate technical (and non-technical) people on what OSM is and why it is
important. One movement I do want to encourage is the use of SEO to
establish that website into higher visibility. As Google et all give
preference to a ccTLD in that country (.ph for the Philippines), if we pool
our efforts together, it is possible we can get significant ranking for the
keyword 'map' and its related keywords. This in itself would greatly broaden
the exposure of OSM to the general population.


So - the first thing we will be doing (soon) is adding a bunch of images to
help promote the site. Secondly, we also own and operate TopBlogs.com.ph.
While Alexa is far from perfect, it does put that site in the top 1000 for
the Philippines. The site itself does near 3000 unique visitors a day, and
we have almost 2,300 blogs active on that site. Sometimes later this week
(or early next week - depending on how soon the graphics are ready) we will
be emailing them all encouraging their help in the OSM project.


I look forward to greatly expanding the visibility of the OSM project in the






From: talk-ph-bounces at openstreetmap.org
[mailto:talk-ph-bounces at openstreetmap.org] On Behalf Of Eugene Alvin Villar
Sent: Monday, December 15, 2008 12:38 PM
Subject: [talk-ph] A look at Wikimapia Beta (and advocating for OSM)


Hello guys (no girls?),

I've e-mailed the mailing list in passing about Wikimapia Beta before, and
I've now properly "reviewed" and blogged about it:
http://vaes9.codedgraphic.com/posts/wikimapia_beta. Wikimapia Beta is yet
another road mapping project and their coverage of the Philippines could
rival that of Google Map Maker since they use Google Maps' satellite
imagery. I've concluded my blog post with a call for participation to the
OSM project by linking to http://openstreetmap.org.ph/.

I'd like to suggest that we talk to the Filipino Google Map Makers
(http://groups.google.com/group/mapping-the-philippines/) (I think Rally is
part of that group), and the Filipino Wikimapians
(http://filimapia.pbwiki.com/) so that we can, at the very least, coordinate
tagging and naming conventions (they face the same problems we do) and
maybe, possibly, encourage them to switch to OSM. Hehehe. ;-)

What do you guys think?

Eugene / seav

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