Drones for Community Mapping

Leigh Lunas

Playlists: 'sotm2020' videos starting here / audio

Drone technology is an evolving industry used in multi-disciplinary fields ranging from agriculture, marine conservation to real estate and films. There’s so much potential and possibilities on what drones could help people making work faster and more efficient. In mapping, aerial imagery uploaded to Open Aerial Map can be used as basemap for OSM editing. Example cases are in Batad Rice Terraces, UNESCO Heritage site for mapping tangible changes in the community over time and create a tourism map and other small urban communities in the Philippines, aerial imagery was used for mapathons and community mapping done in OSM.

This talk is about sharing my experience as a drone pilot here in the Philippines and what contributions in OSM it can do if given more opportunity in the future to fly drones in remote areas in the Philippines. Only 8% of certified drone pilots in the Philippines are women. It’s been my advocacy to encourage women to be drone pilots. In Batad Rice Terraces, a UNESCO world heritage site, there has been a massive influx of tourists coming to visit. Using a drone, I was able to acquire high-resolution imagery in 2019 for the community. The research team was able to use the image to detect tangible changes in the rice fields and houses are no longer built traditionally (from coconut trees and lumber to cement and galvanized iron sheets). The image, DTM, and DSM were uploaded in Open Aerial Map and been used in OSM as a base map to map out the recent community. Other OSM PH drone imagery collection initiatives area in urban areas such as Lupang Arenda in Taytay, Rizal, and Downtown, Dumaguete. The images acquired from these areas were uploaded as well in OAM and used as base maps in the local community efforts to map out their city and small mapathons conducted in Manila.