NOTE: This is a fictitious press release, which can be used as a template for future press releases.
On December 17, 2011, the OpenStreetMap team of volunteers will bring the historic city of Calamba to the forefront of the global mapping revolution while turning it into one of the Philippines' most digitally mapped places.
Anyone wishing to take part in the mapping weekend are asked to meet at Starbucks SM City Calamba at 8:30 AM.
The OSM project was started in 2004 to enable anyone to use maps in creative, productive or unexpected ways. The use of traditional maps is hampered by legal and technical restrictions that severely curtail their use. The OSM project aims to create free geographical data, like street maps, that can be used anywhere by anyone. OSM contributors, will be driving, cycling, and wandering the city with GPS (Global Positioning System) units recording the routes of as many streets, cycleways and footpaths as possible. The tracks recorded over the weekend will be added to the online OpenStreetMap.org database where anyone in the world with access to the internet can browse, annotate, reference, edit and use the data in any way they want.
Collaborative mapping is a rapidly growing activity and is being driven in part by technology (cheap GPS equipment and online collaboration tools such as OpenStreetMap.org). What makes such projects stand out is their knowledge production and ownership ethos. Under such open-source models the rights of authorship are decentralized and the knowledge gathered is seen as a common resource that can be distributed and re-used without copyright restrictions. This approach has real potential to empower people to create their own knowledge and encourages re-use of cartographic resources in novel and creative ways.
The map data produced over the weekend will contribute to OpenStreetMap.org, one of the leading projects in the open-source mapping field. Currently, OSM has mapped large portions of the country, including most major roads and countless minor roads. Places like Laoag, Vigan, San Fernando, Baguio, Angeles, San Fernando City (Pampanga), Olongapo, UP Diliman, Marikina, Intramuros, Rizal Park, Cubao, Eastwood City, Alabang, Tagaytay, Enchanted Kingdom, UP Los Baños, San Pablo, Naga, Bacolod, Cebu, Boracay, Davao have been mapped thoroughly by a dedicated community of mappers. On December 17, It’s Calamba's turn!
Further information can be found on the project website (http://www.openstreetmap.org) and the OpenStreetMap Philippines Facebook page: (http://www.facebook.com/OSMPH)
For more media inquiries, please contact Ian Lopez through email (ian underscore lopez underscore 1115 at yahoo dot com or ifllopez at uplb dot edu dot ph) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/ian.lopez)
Notes for editors
What is OpenStreetMap
OpenStreetMap is a voluntary not-for-profit organization that anyone, anywhere can join. The goal of OSM is to provide free map data that can be used by anyone. All of our maps are freely available on the internet at www.openmtreetmap.org. Why would anyone want to do that? Aren't there are lots of free maps out there? Most of the maps that you come across on the internet or in your home are protected by very stringent copyright laws. These rules stop the maps from being used in unique and unexpected ways, stifling people's creativity and imagination.
How does OpenStreetMap work?
Anyone with a handheld Global Positioning System receiver can start mapping straight away. You need to set your GPS to record tracks and then go for a walk or for a bike ride or a drive creating a paper trail on the GPS unit every second. Walk around some streets in your community, making some notes about the street names and any one way streets or roundabouts that you find. When you get home, plug your GPS into your computer and upload the tracks that you recorded onto the OSM website. In under an hour, you tracks will appear on the website. You can then use the online tools to map roads, street names and places of interest that anyone in the world will be able to see.
Who can be involved?
Anyone with access to a GPS unit and a computer with an internet connection can join in. Even if you don't have a GPS, you can see what maps have been made of your area and improve them. Add street names and points of interests and make the maps even more useful.
If anyone in the world can see the maps, will people be able to see where I live and where I work?
When you upload a track onto the OSM website you can choose to do so publicly or privately. If you choose to upload private tracks, then only the site administrator will know they came from you. Because of the strict copyright laws it is important that the site administrator knows who contributed what.
What is GPS?
GPS stands for Global Positioning System. The system is made up of around 24 satellites that are constantly orbiting the earth, transmitting information about their position and time. The information they transmit is a type of radio wave, and can be picked up and understood by handheld GPS units or Satellite Navigation systems in cars. By comparing the signals from at least four satellites it is possible for a GPS unit to work out its position anywhere on the earth to within 5 to 10m. GPS units are not tracking devices. They only have receivers not transmitters. It is not possible for someone to track you if you are using a GPS receiver.
Why did you come to Calamba?
Calamba is the regional center of CALABARZON, one of two regions closest to Metro Manila. It is the home of many tourist spots, notably the house of its most famous resident (José Rizal) and its hot spring resorts. During our stay, we wanted to demonstrate that it is possible for quite a small team of volunteers to achieve a lot in a small period of time. On Saturday, we hope to map as many amenities, shops and various places of interest.