Pinoy-made Arko mobile app set to compete in Asean IT awards

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arko logo Arko is short-listed in the Corporate Social Responsibility category. Only the top three from each of the six award categories were given the chance to travel to Ninh Binh City, Vietnam to present to a panel of 20 Asean Telecommunications Senior Officials Meeting (Telsom) leaders and judges. All finalists will return to Vietnam this November for the AICTA 2015 Awarding Ceremony, where the winners will be announced. The Pointwest team is led by Rene Canlas and Raymond Posadas. The Asean ICT Awards (AICTA) is on its fourth year. It is one of the projects of the ICT and telecommunication ministers of Asean, and is one of the six strategic thrusts of the organization as stated in the Asean ICT Masterplan (AIM) 2015. AICTA is an Asean initiative to promote innovation and collaboration between government, businesses, citizens and other institutions. The objectives of AICTA include the promotion of creativity and innovation, provision of incentives for R&D efforts and to recognize advances in the adoption of ICT in the Asean region. Arko was developed by Pointwest for the use of the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (Noah) project of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), as a response to Typhoon Ondoy in 2007. Filipinos are familiar with Project Noah for its role in storm tracking and rainfall monitoring during storms. Arko was designed to help make Noah’s flood data easily accessible by the general public, local officials and policymakers alike. What ArKo does is it overlays historical flood data on Google Maps, allowing users to assess if reported rainfall in specific monitored areas are, or will be, under threat of heavy flooding. Arko also provides storm tracking, showing all active storm systems within the Philippine Area of Responsibility. After Project Noah made its flood data available to the public, Pointwest started looking for a way to allow mobile devices to make use of this data. They were able to develop a system that compiles the large amount of flood data and present the output with minimal service lag. The result of this is the color-coded overlay on Google Maps that the Arko app does for flood data in a specified locale. Ordinary citizens can make use of Arko to help decide whether flooding in their area or route is dangerous enough to initiate evacuation or as a decision point for safety. Businesses and schools can use the app to decide if they should suspend work or school. Local Government Units (LGUs) nationwide are given a copy of Arko by Project Noah to help them in disaster planning and response. The app is downloadable for free at Google Play or the Apple App Store. This is not the first international recognition for Arko. In February 2015, Arko became the first Philippine mobile app to win in the prestigious, UN-backed World Summit Award for Mobile (WSAm). Arko also became the first winner of the Best Philippine-made Mobile Application of the Year in the 2015 International ICT Awards Manila. ]]>

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