FOSS4G-Asia 2023 Seoul

Ausome Maps: Empowering Filipino Families by Mapping the Spectrum of Autism Resources in the Philippines using OpenStreetMap and Open-Source Tools
11-30, 10:20–10:40 (Asia/Seoul), Workshop Room

In 2022, global autism rates increased, affecting 1 in 100 children[1]. In the Philippines, the prevalence rate is 1 in 122[2], totaling almost 350,000 affected Filipino children.
Children with Autism require 10 to 40 hours of therapy per week[3], encompassing various sessions like speech-language, occupational, and physical therapy, to foster crucial social and learning skills for integration. However, obtaining these interventions proves challenging due to high demand, uneven spatial distribution of resources, and a lack of centralized credible information source. Given these, tracking a child's milestones and progress often takes a back seat.
Empowering families in their search for suitable therapy or special education places is essential. Location emerges as a key factor after service availability, warranting an updated, comprehensive, and credible map.
Ausome Maps, a She Leads and She Inspires grant project funded by the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team via the Open Mapping Hub Asia-Pacific. It aims to map schools with special education classes, therapy clinics, and institutions aiding differently abled Filipinos on OpenStreetMap. Initially, out of over 5000 identified school points of interest (POIs), only 12 were tagged as 'special needs', with fewer than 10 POIs tagged as places for therapy.
Ausome Maps conducted events to raise autism awareness, elucidate map importance, teach about open data and mapping on OpenStreetMap, and offer hands-on training on data gathering, engineering, and other related activities. To date, over 500 students, professionals, and families have been part of Ausome Maps’ journey through these sessions.
Ausome Maps has completed the tag updating of schools with special education classes with existing feature in OpenStreetMap. Remaining schools to be tagged – 40%, predominantly private schools, will be on OpenStreetMap following further data completion and integrity check. For the places of therapy, Ausome Maps have successfully completed and validated 70% of the national datasets provided by the Philippine Association of Speech Pathologists and Philippine Academy of Occupational Therapists.
Using Map Roulette, Ausome Maps was able to conduct beginner friendly mapathons. Kobo Toolbox allowed us to reach out to our community and solicit support in gathering primary-sourced information or data validation about either the schools or therapy centers.
Moving forward, Ausome Maps continues to create a replicable activities framework that will enable for the same impact to be recreated in other regions. A part of the project’s bid for continued impact, a platform called TherapEase is under development.
TherapEase will incentivize users – families and intervention providers – to ensure data about schools and therapy centers on the platform is up to date. Data which in turn will be used to update corresponding mapped feature on OpenStreetmap. Currently, TherapEase is one of the 35 projects undergoing investment-readiness development through the U.S.-ASEAN Science, Technology, and Innovation Cooperation Program startup incubator.
Ausome Maps remains dedicated to its mission, aiming to bring about positive changes in various regions and communities, fostering a more inclusive and supportive environment for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Charmyne Mamador is a creative technologist with almost 10 years of experience in crafting solutions for various domain. Currently, Project Lead at Ausome Maps.

Ian Panganiban is a cloud infrastructure expert with almost 10 years of experience of developing software solutions using free and open source resources. Currently, helping Ausome Maps as volunteer technical adviser and individual contributor.