27 September 2013

[IN THE NEWS] Visiting professor's traffic solutions in Michael Tan's Inquirer column

Last September 24, 2013, Visiting Professor Dr. Yves Boquet had a lecture entitled, Alongside EDSA: Improving Metro Manila’s Transportation System & its Efficiency Using Experiences of other Asian Megacities (A Geographer’s Perspective).  Fortunately, CSSP Dean Michael Tan graced the event and even featured Dr. Boquet’s recommended traffic solutions in his Pinoy Kasi - Philippine Daily Inquirer column.  Read the article HERE.

You can view the pictures taken from the lecture HERE.

20 September 2013

[LECTURE] Alongside EDSA: Improving Metro Manila’s Transportation System & its Efficiency Using Experiences of other Asian Megacities (A Geographer’s Perspective)

The UP Department of Geography invites everyone to a lecture:

Alongside EDSA: Improving Metro Manila’s Transportation System & its Efficiency Using Experiences of other Asian Megacities
 (A Geographer’s Perspective)

by Dr. Yves Boquet
24 September 2013
1-4PM at Palma Hall Room 207


Metro Manila’s traffic is notoriously heavy and seems very wild and chaotic to Western eyes. Behind the apparent chaos appear some logics of a transport system aiming at transporting millions of people every day. EDSA exemplifies the problems of congestion across the Metro Manila area, from traffic jams to overcrowded urban rail transport and inadequate pedestrian facilities. 

The situation seems to get worse over time; however there are some possibilities to improve it. I will comment on some of the recent policies concerning buses around Metro Manila and examine some “success stories” of transport policies and planning in other Asian megacities (Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Singapore, Osaka, Seoul…) that may be relevant to the Philippine case.


Dr. Boquet is currently a Visiting Professor of the Department.  He comes from the Universit√© de Bourgogne (University of Burgundy) in Dijon, Francea as a professor of Geography.  Since 2009 he has served as a Secretary of the International Geographical Union (IGU) - Commission on Transport and Geography.

16 September 2013

[ARANGKADA@30] A-RUN-KADA: Geography Fun Run 2013

Last September 14, 2013, the A-RUN-KADA: Geography Fun Run 2013 was successfully carried out amid heavy downpour. The event was attended not only by students but also by alumni of the Department and running enthusiasts.  Out of the 189 registered runners, 161 competed in all the three events: 2.2 km, 4.4 km, and 8.8km.  The following are the winners in each category and event:  

 1st PlaceKimbert SarmientoJanette Lumidao
 2nd PlaceRaul Benjamin MendozaChai Abundo
 3rd PlaceLoren Gal

 1st PlaceWilson ManingkilMary Grace Parcon
 2nd PlaceLowemer EstrellaSaki Niiyama
 3rd PlaceAlain San MiguelAcer Jian Figueroa

 1st PlaceJohn Michael MarfilMaria Alexandria Kundert
 2nd PlaceNoel RicamundaInna Valera
 3rd PlaceMark JeffersonMaria Deandra Andal

The program during the fun run was hosted by Prof. Ony Martinez and Alumni Mr. Jayson Cruz and a performance was rendered by the percussion group White Tazandra.  Aside from the cooperation of the students, faculty, and staff who made the event possible, the Department recognizes the efforts of Mr. Willy Domingo who acted as guide and marshal of the fun run. 

A-RUN-KADA: Geography Fun Run is part of the 30th anniversary celebration of the Department of Geography under the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy.

You can view the pictures taken from the event HERE. 

03 September 2013

[ARANGKADA@30] Colloquia on Spatial Technologies in Advancing Research Techniques

Everyone is invited to
The Geography Lab Core Group Technical Colloquia’s
Spatial Technologies in Advancing Research Techniques (START)

Date: September 12, 2013
Time: 5:30-7:30pm
Venue:  Palma Hall 207, Roxas Avenue, UP Diliman, Quezon City

Session 1: Modeling Geographic Distributions with MaxEnt 
Discussant: Mart Geronia, MS Geology student

MaxEnt (Maximum Entropy) is a java-based free software that is capable of producing ecological models of the geographic distributions of species based on variables using the maximum entropy method of probability. The maximum entropy method ensures that the probability distribution the model estimates is closest to uniform and the most spread out, subject to the constraints set by the variables; i.e., the model assumes that a species can be found uniformly across space subject to the constraints set. This software is written by Steven Phillips, Miro Dudik and Rob Schapire, with support from AT&T Labs-Research, Princeton University, and the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History. This software generates models of a species’ geographic distribution using the constraint features or the environmental variables describing the background landscape and by using the collection of presence-only data of the distribution of the species in question. It can also integrate both categorical and continuous data for the variables and will not diminish its capability to produce a good model.
Aside from its application in modeling the geographic distributions of species habitats in ecology and biogeography, the maximum entropy method has been used in the fields of linguistics (for natural language processing), economics (mainly in game theory), climate research (modeling a species habitat based on future climatic scenarios), and in political science and sociology (application of ecological inferences or drawing conclusions about individual behavior from aggregate data).

Session 2: Grid Analysis and Display System (GrADS) for Earth Science Data Processing and Visualization
Discussant: Robert Badrina, MS Meteorology student

Grid analysis and display system (GrADS) is an open source, interactive desktop tool that is used for easy access, manipulation and visualization of earth science data. It can handle various data file format such as binary (stream or sequential), GRID, NetCDF, HDF and BUFR (for station data). GrADS has been implemented worldwide and currently being used by researchers around the globe, it has an online group forum where community of users exchange information about the software.

Outputs of climate models (Regional Climate Model (RegCM) and Global Climate Model) are
can be utilized using GrADS. It uses four convention environmental dimensions: longitude,
latitude, vertical level and time. There are also data available for free such as resources
from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) which can provide rainfall estimates
that can be processed using GrADS. Data can be displayed using variety of graphical
technique: line and bar graphs, scatter plots, smoothed contours, shaded contours,
streamlines, wind vectors, grid boxes, shaded boxes and station model plots. GrADS is
supported by the Institute of Global Environment and Society dedicated for climate research
in the service of the society.

S.T.A.R.T. aims to provide a venue for young researchers to present various techniques for visualizing and analyzing spatial data using recent technologies and data processing software to aid in further enhancing social science research methodologies.

As spatial information is integral in addressing the pressing environmental and social issues we deal with at both local and global scales, these colloquia seek to facilitate exchanges among young academics on the potentials of available technologies to deliver useful information to the public for more informed decision-making.

The Lab Core Group of the UP Department of Geography was formed in 2009 by student
volunteers who wanted to help manage the then small GIS laboratory of the institution. 

Beyond serving as the lab technical assistance team, it initiated other projects such as the Geography1 Open Lab which rovided introductory training on Google Earth image interpretation, GIS, and GPS, and the drafting of he GIS laboratory user guidelines and its file management and data security scheme.