Mapua School of CEGE launches Crowdpoint app

The School of Civil, Environmental, and Geological Engineering (CEGE) launched last August 14 a new mobile-based application, Crowdpoint. 

Developed by a team of researchers and engineers led by CEGE dean Dr. Francis Aldrine Uy, Crowdpoint is a community-based social networking app that combines geospatial information and civil systems and utilizes the power of ICT, GPS, crowdsourcing, and mapping technology in the delivery of public information. The app is a brainchild of Dr. Uy derived from his studies on geospatial information and civil systems. 

For the past years, Mapúa Institute of Technology has always been at the forefront in engaging in publishable and economically viable research, development, and innovation. With the development of Crowdpoint, Mapúa once again proved that it is a leader in opening new possibilities and opportunities to the community. 

Geospatially oriented society

Dr. Uy demonstrates how to use the SOS feature of Crowdpoint to the audience during the launch last August 14.

“We are geared towards a more geospatially oriented society,” Dr. Uy said. “Crowdpoint aims to deliver an online map where more people can have access to lots of opportunities from small things like food and travel experience to disaster recovery efforts and research studies.” 

The app uses Crowdsourcing or a process to obtain needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting solutions from a large group of people (crowd), especially from an online community. This is alongside the use of a Global Positioning System or GPS. With this feature, Crowdpoint users can recommend places that will appear on the map for other users’ perusal. One of the features of the social app is enabling users to blog their travel experiences real time over an online crowd map. 

Public service provider

Besides social networking, the platform may also be used for public service in terms of urban mobility and access with the use of the GPS feature. This will be a big help especially in crowded cities like Metro Manila. 

Crowdpoint also collaborated with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), thus the feature AskMMDA. With the said feature, users are able to air their concerns directly to MMDA with BnAP or Before and (n) After Photo. 

Crowdpoint is an all-in-one social networking app that uses ICT, GPS, crowdsourcing, and mapping technology in the delivery of public information.

“Users will take a photo of their concern, then MMDA will post an ‘after-event photo’ once they’ve rectified the problem,” said Dr. Uy. Users may easily report traffic congestion, roadworks, and flooding with the use of the app. An “anti-epal campaign” feature is also part of the app so Crowdpoint users may report to concerned agencies “epalitikos” or public officials who has his/her name or image on any public signage, public space or public property. The “anti-epal campaign” aims to expose government officials claiming credit for a particular project or program that was paid for by taxpayers, or those politicians who are pre-campaigning for the upcoming elections. 

Useful for emergency and rescue

The all-in-one app has also an emergency and rescue feature, Dr. Uy said. “One of the features of Crowdpoint is the SOS or the emergency and rescue. During an emergency, users will simply click on the SOS feature, and this will send feeds to the admin account and SOS feeds shall appear on the map. With that, authorities will know your location during emergencies or rescue efforts.” 

In the future, the developers aim to connect Crowdpoint to the University of California-Berkeley’s iShake app, which sends alert signals and messages during earthquakes, and PHILVOLCS. Once connected, the SOS function will automatically turn on once it determines that an earthquake is happening. 

“There are a lot of information all around us. What if all these information can be put into a map enabling new possibilities, maybe new services or products for the people?” Dr. Uy concluded. 

Crowdpoint is available for Android through Google Play, and soon on iOS. For more information, visit www.crowdpoint.org.

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