A Yearlong Journey with Southern Leyte State U YouthMappers in Open Mapping
2023-11-21, 15:50–16:00 (Asia/Manila), Plenary Hall

This presentation chronicles the inspiring transformation of students into changemakers through their active involvement with the Southern Leyte State University's (SLSU) YouthMappers organization, officially recognized as a YouthMappers chapter on October 18, 2022, following its establishment on October 11, 2022. Over the course of a year, these students transition from being learners to dynamic contributors within their community, with a strong emphasis on the successful utilization of open-source software, open data, and open mapping in their activities.

The journey is characterized by a series of impactful initiatives, all made possible through open-source software, open data, and open mapping. It commences with the official launch of SLSU YouthMappers and includes noteworthy events such as a Mapathon held to celebrate GIS Day, GIS Open House: A Map Exhibit, and a sponsorship program from the Open Mapping Hub Asia Pacific. This sponsorship facilitated training and mapathons that extensively relied on OpenStreetMap, demonstrating the power of open-source mapping tools and data in their projects.

The core of the presentation lies in showcasing how these activities were successfully conducted due to the use of open-source software, open data, and open mapping. Initiatives like "Building GIS Capabilities for Student Research," "GIS Quest: Empowering Student Researchers through QGIS," "Women in Mapping Our Nation (WOMAN): Empowering Women through Mapping and Geospatial Technologies," and "A Coffee Table Discussion about OSM" highlight the pivotal role that open data and open mapping played in enabling these students to contribute meaningfully to their community.

A central ongoing project of SLSU YouthMappers, "Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on the Subang Daku River and Its Community," underscores how open data and open mapping are essential in addressing contemporary challenges. Supported by Open Climate through Ben Hur Pintor, this initiative aims to evaluate the consequences of climate change on the Subang Daku River and its neighboring communities, relying on open data and mapping to gather crucial insights.

The presentation continually underscores the importance of open-source software, open data, and open mapping in the success of SLSU YouthMappers' endeavors. It showcases how these tools and principles have enabled the organization to provide ongoing training and services, highlighting their enduring impact in making positive changes within the community.

Furthermore, the increase in GIS-based research and project proposals from both faculty and students is an evidence to the effectiveness of open source software, open data, and open mapping in promoting data-driven initiatives.