Science and Environment

Tech startup develops 3D geospatial mapping of marine areas

Rainier Allan Ronda - The Philippine Star
Tech startup develops 3D geospatial mapping of marine areas

MANILA, Philippines — A tech startup has developed capability to undertake marine or underwater three-dimensional geospatial mapping and analytics that can be used for marine resources mapping and conservation.

The 3D underwater geospatial mapping and analytics technology of Antipara Explorations Inc. also has industrial uses as it can be tapped to monitor impacts on the marine environment and biodiversity of commercial shipping and fishing activities as well as oil and natural gas exploration and subsea oil pipeline construction and maintenance.

Aside from the 3D geospatial mapping technology, Antipara Explorations has developed a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) for undersea mapping projects.

Aaron Hilomen, co-founder and CEO of Antipara Explorations, said property developers have tapped their technology for mapping out coastal areas where they are undertaking residential and tourism related property developments to map out marine flora and fauna resources and draw up sustainable tourism and development measures.

“It has many environmental applications,” Hilomen, a civil engineer, as well as a water and environment engineer, told The STAR.

“We cater to both industry and the environmental (protection and conservation) sector,” Hilomen added.

“Our system is very efficient, and we can cover very large areas,” he said. “We can map out all these areas. Basically, we help the marine and maritime sector map and manage their undersea assets… from corral reefs, undersea cables and pipelines.”

Hilomen said that they have worked with local government units in Occidental Mindoro and Marinduque, and the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources as well of Science and Technology, in mapping efforts of marine resources and protected areas.

With the Philippines having one of the richest and most biodiverse aquatic ecosystems in the world, the 3D geospatial mapping and analytics capability built up by Antipara Explorations will come in handy for the country’s environment protection and resource development agencies, as well as the so-called “blue economy.”

For this innovation, Antipara Explorations has earned recognition from multinational oil giant Total Corp.

Antipara Explorations had emerged as second prizewinner in the first-ever Startupper of the Year Challenge held last February by Total (Philippines) Corp., where it competed against other startups judged on their potential social impact to make the world a better place.

Aside from 2nd prize, the Total Challenge jury also awarded Antipara Explorations the Better Energy prize, seeing the huge potential of the startup’s 3D geospatial and analytics technology for its own worldwide oil exploration and development activities.

“It’s really linked to our business,” Malou Espina, Total Philippines Corp. vice president for marketing and communications, said of the mapping technology.

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