A Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) student’s passion for local cuisine has helped him secure a ticket to the world’s largest spatial event, the Esri User Conference in San Diego, California.

Geodesy and geomatics engineering student Tombayu Amadeo Hidayat accepting the 2016 Esri Young Scholars Award

Tombayu Amadeo Hidayat – a geodesy and geomatics engineering student – won the 2016 Esri Young Scholars Award (EYSA) for his project, ‘Petaboga – a map-based food portal’, which takes visitors on an interactive culinary journey through the streets of Bandung.

The Esri Young Scholars Award is an international tertiary competition, run locally by Esri Indonesia. It celebrates excellence in geospatial study, and more specifically, the creative use of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology – or smart mapping technology – to solve commercial and community issues.

Tombayu’s entry was judged the winner over hopefuls from across Indonesia – providing the ITB student with the opportunity to showcase his work to over 16,000 GIS professionals from 140 countries.

“Bandung is rich in culture, and although I have lived there my entire life, I feel like you will never run out of things to do and discover,” Tombayu said

True to his adventurous spirit, Tombayu created Petaboga to not only promote his city, but also help people discover the various delicious delights available in local neighbourhoods.

Petaboga features interactive story maps that help users locate the best places to sample a particular dish. In addition, it also houses a ‘foodpoint map’, which maps the location of food and restaurant reviews in the city.

“Word of mouth has always been a powerful tool to promote products and services. In the same way, Petaboga leverages the principle of crowdsourcing so visitors to the website can send and have access to unbiased reviews of the dishes they’re keen to try,” Tombayu said.

Meanwhile, Slamet Joko Prihatin, a senior GIS researcher at Kompas and a member of the EYSA judging panel, said, “Tombayu’s creative use of story maps and smart mapping technology to promote such a popular interest is a great way to encourage inventive geospatial thinking among users – especially those who are unfamiliar with using maps for such novel purposes.”

“Petaboga is very promising and shows a lot of potential in helping promote tourism in Bandung. I also feel the portal can be further developed to become mobile responsive, so the information can be easily accessed by smartphone users,” Slamet said.

“The annual EYSA highlights the ingenuity shown by Indonesian students when they are empowered with the latest technology, and I look forward to more smart mapping applications coming from this competition in the future.”

Bahasa Indonesia translation