As the new administration focuses on building infrastructure for the ever-growing economy of the Philippines, critical information is needed to determine which areas need to be prioritized.

It is for this reason that the government has stuck with a two-year Php 5.4 million program to create the first-ever comprehensive digital map entire archipelago’s road network.

Here mapping in Albay

Open Location Platform company HERE is halfway through with the task of providing the Philippine Road Board with a highly detailed three-dimensional and 360-degree real-world view of the country’s 45,000 kilometers worth of roads including their width, length, road surface conditions, guardrails, street signs and traffic lights across 7,000 islands.

“This project provides the Road Board with the latest digital tools to meet the challenge of supporting sustained and inclusive economic growth, creating jobs and reducing poverty through maintenance and upgrades of our local roads. We will be able to make better informed decisions and manage a more robust accountability framework to ensure funds are used responsibly,” said Ruby Soccoro Romero Location Reference System Project Manager of the Philippine Road Board.

Six HERE True capture vehicles equipped with Reality Lens have been roving the country since last year and have reached the halfway point of the project as of October 2015.

The use of Reality Lens will allow the Philippine Road Board to visualize and measure changes down to an accuracy of 2.5 centimeters.

Here mapping in Davao

“The Philippines is in the midst of an infrastructure boom with the government recognizing the importance of safe and efficient land transportation for more than 100 million citizens spread across over 7,000 islands. To manage this transformation it is critical that government departments have objective ways of assessing funding requests and measuring results to ensure accountability. Not only is the Philippines leapfrogging the technology capabilities of most advanced countries with this project, it’s also laying the digital foundations for the self-driving vehicles and connected smart cities of the future. The digital road model can today be applied to the challenge of reducing congestion by maximizing utilization of current transport infrastructure,” said HERE APAC Director Brent Stafford.

There have been plenty of challenges along the way for the HERE Team and though ppproximately 5-percent of the total road network will likely remain unmapped due to security issues or access limitations, the team expects to finish the project well ahead of the two-year schedule.

“The HERE cars have had quite a few ferry journeys, have forged streams and encountered many dead ends on their travels around the country. We found several roads labeled as 17km long in the government’s database was actually only 1.7km long, highlighting the data quality issues inherent in the old process. We’ve also found certain bridges listed on the database to be non-existent,” added Stafford.