IT experts and enthusiasts are spurring local tourism by powering the first in a series of Google Map Summits in the Philippines with the help of wireless leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart).

“An event in which a group of people get together to map their world,” a Map Summit organizes volunteer cartographers who go into unchartered — and often remote — areas to help document roads, establishments, and other places of interest on Google Maps, the internet company’s free global map service.

“Not only are we providing tourists with more accessible and more comprehensive information about our country, but we are also able to provide them with the best wireless services wherever they wish to go,” Smart Chief Wireless Advisor Orlando B. Vea stressed in a statement.

Participants of the whole day workshops were taught the basics of using Google Map Maker ( which took place in Baguio City April 12, Bacolod City April 16 and General Santos City April 21.

The activities relied heavily on Internet connectivity which Smart addressed by providing mobile broadband Plug-It and Pocket WiFi devices to more than 200 attendees.

“As the only resilient and reliable network in the country, we have always been open to participating in challenging activities such as this. Others may claim that they have similar capabilities, but only Smart has the guts to prove it,” said Vea. (Smart Communications)