UP employee wins Google map contest

Published by reposted only Date posted on March 3, 2010

A 24-year-old Filipino programmer has won the Google Map Maker Global Competition, which encourages users around the world to map universities, schools and hospitals to help humanitarian organizations do their jobs better.

Wayne Dell Manuel, a software developer at the National Telehealth Center of the University of the Philippines, bested more than 700 other contestants from around the world to win a $50,000 donation for the Philippines from the United Nations Children’s Fund. The donation will benefit projects that empower Filipino youth through technology.

Google, the Internet search giant, launched its global competition to encourage the use of Google Map Maker, a Web-based tool, to map universities, schools, hospitals and medical clinics in their home countries.

The goal was to help humanitarian organizations better deliver services, respond to crises, and adapt to change in the countries they operate by enabling access to accurate digital maps, Google said in a statement. Entries were judged based on the quality and quantity of map edits and moderations.

Manuel added more than 1,500 qualifying map features and made hundreds of moderations in Google Map Maker to win the competition. His edits, which were primarily of local public schools, were judged to be the most numerous and accurate entries in the contest.

Manuel said he hoped that mapping these schools, many of which also serve as evacuation centers during natural disasters, could help relief organizations centralize and distribute aid.

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