29 June 2006

Doing more with less

IT WAS heartening to see Naga's underrated Geographic Information System (GIS) take centerstage, courtesy of a new blog called Metro Manila Philippines Makeover. Dedicated to exploiting Google Earth resources to "dream up a better Philippines...and all things possible in the virtual," the site is jointly being built up by Washington, D.C.-based Urbano dela Cruz and Bangkok-based Roby Alampay.

Three of the newer posts here, here and here are all about Naga's GIS efforts, "by far the most advanced application of Google Earth by a Philippine LGU that we've seen so far," says Roby. And we're not even in high-res maps yet (unlike the lucky ones described here), as the Google Earth satellite seems to have gone off target by a few kilometers when it shot its high-res images in Camarines Sur.

This singular development has sparked renewed interest in GIS among local techies, evidenced by the discussion thread on Google Earth's expanded Philippine coverage in the Naga community forum which has dominated the Community Forum sidebar in the city website for two days now. It is bringing together Senen Ebio, Naga's former EDP head who's now Makati-based; Nick Motos, our original GIS guy who, like me, left for a private sector stint but has since come back to handle the i-Serve project; and the EDP people represented by Dune Padre and Jessie Natividad.

Aside from the bragging rights, it will also serve my personal and professional ends. Early this month, I was assigned to spend time with the City Planning and Development Office to help update the city's development and land use plans. CPDO is actually my home agency when I joined the city in 1992. It is therefore a 14-year journey that has come full circle.:)


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