On Thursday, March 20, 2013, Google India conducted a Google Hangout-on-air featuring the Map Maker Team.

This live video-streaming and public chat of sorts, was meant to give mappers from all over India and elsewhere a chance to watch and listen to the Google Map Maker team led by Map Maker Product Manager Jayanth Mysore discuss, explain and answer questions with regard to the use of Map Maker.

Google Map Maker, Google Maps

This was in relation to the ongoing Mapathon being conducted all across India.

I was privileged to be a guest in the proceedings to share my experiences in mapping and in encouraging community participation by organizing mapups all over Southern Mindanao.

Although my line was cut due to poor wifi connection at a coffee shop at SM City where I was broadcasting from, I was able to rejoin the Hangout at the finale to say my piece.  This was right after a fellow Mapper/Blogger, Erwin Bantilan offered me the use of his internet connection at his home, about 5 kilometers away.  We had to take a tricycle there fast to reconnect to the Hangout before it ended.

Thank God, I was still able to relate how I and the SoCCSkSarGen Bloggers started mapping and eventually conducted MapUps or Mapping Parties (as we prefer to call it here) in other cities in Mindanao Island.

From just another technical knowhow we have mastered, the exercise has developed into an ADVOCACY  for the group, especially for me.  I shared during the Hangout that we were doing this because of our love for our beloved city and our country.  Volunteering ourselves to spread the use of Google Map Maker, was the only way we could show to the world more and more of the Philippines’ natural and man-made tourism wonders and prove that indeed, “It’s More Fun in the Philippines.”

Of course, we were also doing it to aid government agencies in their tasks to increase awareness for disaster-preparedness and help out voters locate their precincts or poll places during Local and National Elections.

To end my brief participation, I left the listeners a few tips to make them enjoy mapping even more.

Here then is the YouTube video of that Google Hangout-on-air with the Map Maker Team from start to finish.

Thank you to the Map Maker Team for this honor of imparting whatever lessons I could to the 1,200 or so mappers who were listening in.  And for patiently guiding me all throughout  despite the technical glitch at the start of the Hangout, I am grateful to Rohit, Nadeem and their boss Prasanna.  DHANYAVAD.

Now that the dust has settled,  the really fun part begins.  In my advice to the mappers of India, I told them to enjoy the exercise and not treat it as a job or as a task.  They must remember and internalize that they are doing it for their country…  which will make it an easier undertaking.  That, I am certain might even help contribute to India’s grabbing the the slogan “MAPPING IS MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES” from us.

But that of course, dear readers, still remains to be seen. 🙂