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Creating a Geo-Map for Belize

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The Belize National Spatial Data Infrastructure project is a project that collects geographic data in Belize before compiling it and making it available to the Government of Belize and other partners. The project seeks to improve the infrastructure planning in Belize and also to create an accurate geographical map for Belize. This week the BNSDI held Metadata training sessions, teaching members how to accurately create and store the database received. Sylvia Noralez, Spatial Data Administrator, said that the project will surely help Belize in planning and also assist international companies as well

Sylvia Noralez – Spatial Data Administrator for BNSDI: “ We know in Belize we have a lot of World Bank or international banks coming into the country asking and accessing this information but there is no metadata and so with this training we are inputting knowledge, equipping our government workers to input documentation for our spatial data layers which will assist with decisions that needs to be made in terms of planning.”

Eric Van Praag – Project Manager ESRI: “So we had two major topics: SDI (Spatial Data Infrastructure) and that is the way normally a country will go about organizing their data so sharing the data and making sure the authoritative data set from every agency is put in a portal or some similar mechanism so it can be used. You can think of a map of roads, map of protected areas, you want those maps to be accessible at least at the government level and eventually open to the public as well, that avoids a lot of things. It is cost-effective because different agencies are not creating the same map. You will have a national authoritative map and there is going to be an agency that is the custodian of that data and is in charge of keeping the data updated in good quality and so on.  We had some conversation in the training about how to go about doing SDI (Special Data Infrastructure) so a good part of training was hands-on training about how to make metadata so usually if you have a data set like a set of crimes in Belize or a data set of the coral reef in Belize you want to make sure that that data has a perfect description and that the description is also available online on some mechanism like a portal online so that people can go and find it.”

The training sessions were done by professional geographical information system software (GIS) members from Esri. The Metadata training was held at the George Price Center in Belmopan.//////

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