Everyone ages — that’s a fact of life — and as people age, their needs also change. This is true not just for the kind of food they eat, the places they visit, but also for the kind of data and information that they need and look for in maps.

The World Population Prospects estimates that by 2050, 16% of the world population will be over the age of 65. In 2015, 7.55 million people (7.5% of the population) in the Philippines were over 60 years old. This was higher than the 6.24 million people (6.7% of the population) in 2010. By 2045, 22.6 million people (16% of the population) in the country is expected to be over the age of 60. Whether we like it or not, we would need to tackle the issue of the ageing population sooner or later.

The MapaTanda Project (a portmanteau of Mapa — which means a map — and Tanda — which can mean an older adult but can also mean remember) is a project that seeks to improve the number and quality of data in OpenStreetMap that are important and relevant to older adults (senior citizens) and the ageing population (60+ years old) in the Philippines.

Querying the current data in OSM shows that there are only 74 POIs tagged with “amenity=social_facility” and “social_amenity:for=senior”. If we include the social facilities tagged for elderly, this number increases to 77 and most of these are Offices for Senior Citizen Affairs located in Pampanga, Philippines. Community centers tagged for seniors and elderly fare worse as there is only 1 such POI in the Philippines tagged in OSM. This presents an opportunity to map facilities such as nursing homes, retirement homes, community centers for older adults, facilities for adult learning, and other facilities that provide services or perks to the older adults (e.g. discounts, promos, etc.). The project will utilize SmartCT’s partnerships with local government units in the Philippines to map this gap and train new OSM volunteers in the process.

“Mapa-bata man o MapaTanda, kailangang kasama at isinasama sa pagmamapa.”