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Thinking Machines is Mapbox’s partner in the Philippines

June 22, 2020 blog-post geospatial maps partnership open-data mapbox

We’re thrilled to announce that Thinking Machines has officially partnered with Mapbox, the mapping platform of choice for companies like Facebook, Adobe, The New York Times, Snapchat, Shopify, The Weather Company, and Foursquare.

Intuitive data visuals lead to better insights and nothing is more intuitive than a map for making solutions around geography. Great data-driven maps have helped the companies and organizations we’ve worked with making better decisions.

Our CEO, Stephanie Sy, says, “Mapbox and Thinking Machines share the same values around delivering quality products for our customers, and supporting open-source technologies and initiatives. We’re very excited to work with our friends and partners at Mapbox to scale-out through the region.”

Our strong geospatial AI and analytics capabilities and data science consulting expertise, combined with Mapbox visualization, APIs, and data will allow us to serve our clients better to make better geospatial decisions. As partners, we’re excited about all of the possibilities as we work together with Mapbox’s talented team to bring beautiful geospatial data insights to Southeast Asia.

MapTheGap: Open Source Bringing Us Together

One manifestation of Mapbox and Thinking Machines’ shared interest in improving open data coverage was our first partnership: MapTheGap.

Here at Thinking Machines, we rely on OpenStreetMap (OSM) data to provide geospatial analytics and train our AI models. However, there are many areas in the Philippines where that data is still incomplete: in September 2019, only 29.61% of the Philippines had been mapped.

This inspired us to launch MapTheGap: an initiative to highlight where and how much of the Philippines is unmapped, the key piece of which was the visual story we built on Mapbox. We were able to do this quickly by using their designer and developer tools such as Mapbox Studio and Mapbox GL JS, which have base maps that look great right out-of-the-box, and were easily customizable for the story that we wanted to tell.

By sharing the importance of OSM and highlighting which regions had the biggest gaps, we helped volunteer mappers and the Philippine OpenStreetMap community focus their efforts. We even co-hosted a mapathon together with the Humanitarian OSM Team to map the province of Pampanga to support efforts for disaster risk reduction and preparedness.

The Mapbox Community Team then asked us to launch MapTheGap in Madagascar. They’re supporting Operation Fistula to improve OpenStreetMap, and measure and improve women’s health across the country. In January 2020, the map completeness on release was 10.89%. After 3 months, it increased to 11.67%.

These projects emphasize the power of location tools in helping communities, especially in the developing world. Areas that are unmapped are often overlooked, underfunded, and difficult to get aid to. Accurate maps help local governments, NGOs, and other responders pinpoint vulnerable areas and reach those in need, supporting efforts for environmental protection, disease surveillance, disaster risk reduction, relief operations, and beyond.

Partners for Geospatial Insights

With this strategic partnership, we bring together Thinking Machines’ data science consulting expertise and Mapbox’s excellent products to build insightful maps for organizations all over the region. Through this partnership, we will jointly provide high-end services to our clients so that they get the edge that they need to succeed. These geospatial solutions include site selection, resource allocation, and mobility planning. Along with our private sector work, Thinking Machines and Mapbox are both dedicated to the ongoing advancement of open-source data and open-source geospatial technologies to transform and understand our world.

We’re glad to be working alongside Mapbox at the cutting-edge of geospatial and we look forward to innovating with their products and services!

About Mapbox

Mapbox is a location data platform for a variety of applications such as mobile and web. They provide building blocks to add location features like search, maps, and navigation into any client’s desired experience. It is an open-source mapping platform that is used for customized designed maps.

Do you want to learn more about Mapbox? Visit mapbox.com for more details.

About Thinking Machines

Thinking Machines is a data science startup that builds data and artificial intelligence platforms to help organizations make smarter decisions with data.

Are you interested to learn more about us? We’d be happy to chat! Contact us at thinkingmachin.es/contact.

Be part of the team that’s civic-minded, innovative, and result-oriented. Apply now at thinkingmachin.es/careers.


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