[talk-ph] 7500 and counting.

Eugene Alvin Villar seav80 at gmail.com
Sat Feb 20 01:32:36 UTC 2016

According to the latest news, there are now "exactly" 7,641 islands. This
is stated by the so-called Philippine Islands Measurements Project of
NAMRIA. (Really unfortunate acronym: PIMP. People, when when creating
multi-word names, make sure that the acronym is palatable!)


I have previously e-mailed NAMRIA to get info on how they keep track of
islands and how the most often quoted figure of 7,107 islands was derived.
Predictably I didn't get any definitive answer.

Afterwards, I discovered the 1939 Census Atlas of the Philippines which
listed in glorious detail exactly 7,100 islands, including name (if there
is one), land area, municipality/city, and coordinates (no datum was given
but it is presumably the Luzon Datum of 1911). I assume that this is the
mother of all Philippine islands list. An additional 7 islands were
probably added later on (Spratlys maybe?) but I have no information on who
or what those 7 islands are.

I was able to take photos of the list in the Census Atlas and initiated a
crowd-sourced project to digitize this list. Phase 1 was completed last
year and Phase 2 is currently on hold:


Maning did a straight plot of those 7,100 islands assuming WGS84 datum
(which has around 90m difference from Luzon datum):


Based on the map and even taking into account the datum difference, I now
have serious doubts on the accuracy of the Census Atlas list. Some islands
were located in the Pacific, outside the Philippines' baselines!

Because of that, I now have serious doubts on the accuracy of the 7,107
islands total number. This makes me doubt the 7,641 as well unless NAMRIA
can publish their database and tracking methodology.


P.S. I hope that OSM can in the future provide us with a free/open database
all islands of the Philippines.

On Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 1:08 PM, Jim Morgan <jim at datalude.com> wrote:

> MANILA, Philippines -The Philippines is now officially a +7,500 islands
> after the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority discovered
> 400 more islets in a series of mapping research.
> http://themaharlikan.info/news/breaking-philippines-no-longer-7107-islands-after-discovery-of-400-more-islets/
> Jim
> --
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