MANILA, Philippines - Google Inc. launched Friday its first ever Google Map Maker Global Competition to encourage young people to use technology for community development.
The contest invites interested participants around the world, including the Philippines, to map the universities, schools, hospitals, and medical clinics in their home countries on Google Map Maker to help humanitarian organizations such as UNICEF do their jobs better.
Google Map Maker (www.google.com/mapmaker) enables users to become "citizen cartographers” and contribute their knowledge of their hometowns with the online community. Users can add familiar points of interests, draw roads and buildings, and generally create maps of places with just a few clicks of a mouse.
Competition entrants will be evaluated according to the quantity and quality of their map edits and moderation activity, which is essential to making sure that other peers' edits are accurate. The winner's efforts will result in a US$50,000 donation from UNICEF to benefit projects that empower local youth through technology in his or her homeland.
“We are very excited to be launching this mapping competition and we hope that Filipinos will participate in mapping as many universities, schools, hospitals and medical clinics in the country as possible to help humanitarian organizations implement their projects effectively,” said Therese Lim, Head of Communications for the Philippines, Google Southeast Asia.
"We have seen how powerful online maps can be during the aftermath of typhoons Ondoy and Peping, when Filipino volunteers used Google Maps to plot locations of people needing urgent rescue and areas with high levels of flooding. Those maps were relied on by a number of relief organizations to deliver aid."
"We are delighted that Google is supporting UNICEF's efforts to help build a world fit for children. We know that mapping is a proven method to enhance community development. Google Map Maker is a powerful tool to create better situational awareness for both young people and communities at large. It will enable organizations like ours to better deliver services, respond to crises and adapt to change," said Gerrit Beger, leader of UNICEF's innovation drive focusing on youth.
Interested people can register for the Map Maker Global Competition at http://www.google.com/help/mapmaker/competitions/global/getstarted.html. The contest is open from December 15, 2009 to January 31, 2010. Entries will be evaluated on:
· Mapping quality: Mapping additions and edits must be accurate and detailed.
· Mapping quantity: The more mapping additions and edits published, the better!
· Moderation quality: Moderations of mapping changes must be polite, helpful, and correct.
· Moderation quantity: The more moderations completed, the better!
In addition to the US$50,000 UNICEF donation, the contest winner will get a VIP tour from UNICEF officials of the local project in their country that will benefit from the donation. Google will also invite, the winner to attend the Google Super Mappers 2010 conference, all expenses paid.
The winner will be announced by February 15, 2010.
Additional information about the Map Maker Global Competition can be found on http://www.google.com/help/mapmaker/competitions/global/index.html.