In commemorating Open Data Day 2024, we, the UP Resilience Institute YouthMappers (UPRIYM) embraced a vision recognizing biking communities as integral yet vulnerable segments within the urban landscape. Constantly navigating streets shared with motorized vehicles, these communities face the daily struggle for equitable space allocation, advocating for their right to safe and accessible routes. Simultaneously, they embody a passion for bi-modal transportation, championing the versatility of folding bikes as a sustainable alternative. Recognizing their unique position at the intersection of activism and recreation, we sought innovative ways to engage with these communities, harnessing their inherent enthusiasm to drive positive change.

By partnering with biking communities such as the Tiklop Society of the Philippines (TSP), we seized the opportunity to celebrate this year’s Open Data Day by launching Pedal Map, a project to engage biking communities with open mapping for Sustainable Development Goals. This project is a tailored approach that directly addresses their interests and concerns.

Official poster announcing the partnership between UPRIYM and TSP

Understanding the transformative potential of open data in shaping urban environments, we collaborated with TSP to facilitate a workshop and conduct a short field session to demystify the open data concept and elucidate its relevance to their daily experiences. Through a session on Mapillary, a platform for street-level imagery collection for OpenStreetMap, bikers were empowered with the knowledge and tools to actively contribute to creating more inclusive and accurate mapping solutions, leveraging their unique perspectives as frequent users of urban thoroughfares.

With a team of 15 dedicated bikers, we traversed the streets of UP Diliman, armed with cameras through their smartphones and a shared vision of enhancing open data accessibility. Through our collective efforts, we contributed over 2,000 images to Mapillary, bridging crucial gaps in our urban landscape’s visual representation through OpenStreetMap. 

Tiklop Society of the Philippines (TSP) and UPRI YouthMappers before deploying for the short field session
Street-level images in Village A (UP Diliman) uploaded at Mapillary

The impact of our collaborative endeavor promises to be profound, fostering a deeper understanding of our surroundings and empowering communities through accessible, open data. Furthermore, our engagement with biking communities extended beyond direct participation in data collection activities to encompass broader advocacy efforts to foster a culture of data literacy and civic engagement. By integrating open data principles into their advocacy initiatives, bikers were equipped to amplify their voices and advocate for infrastructure improvements that prioritize the needs of non-motorized road users. Through this multifaceted approach, we celebrated Open Data Day and cultivated lasting partnerships with targeted communities, catalyzing both direct and indirect impacts on urban mobility and accessibility.

As we reflect on this enriching experience, we eagerly anticipate future partnerships with the Tiklop Society of the Philippines, recognizing the invaluable role of grassroots initiatives in driving positive change. 

Our heartfelt gratitude extends to the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN) and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) for their unwavering support and sponsorship, underscoring the significance of collaborative networks in advancing the global open data movement. 

We reaffirm the belief that we are truly #BetterTogetherThanAlone. Through collective action, we can harness the transformative power of open data to build a more sustainable and inclusive future for all.