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Belize celebrates GIS Day

Today Belize joined the world in celebrating GIS Day. The day provides for a forum for users of geographic information systems (GIS) technology to demonstrate real-world applications that are making a difference in our society. The expo here in Belize was organized by Total Business Solutions Limited. Hipolito Novelo reports.

“Students from across the country converged today in Belize City for a one-day expo focused on geographic information system (GIS). As part of World GIS Day, Total Business Solutions Limited partnered with sponsors, schools, and stakeholders for a fair where students were educated about the benefits of GIS.”

Loretta Palacio, Managing Director, TBSL

“This is to open up the minds of our students and educators, our students first so that they understand the role of this technology in their learning and their careers and for educators to be able to understand how to use this technology for their curriculum in their classroom because there is a better way.”

“And that way is the GIS Way. Guest speaker at today’s event was Deputy Chief Education Officer, Dr. Neulin Villanueva who said that GIS Learning is multi-sensory learning.”

Dr. Neulin Villanueva, Deputy Chief Education Officer, MOH

“We have a lot of students who don’t learn well just by hearing, they need to see, they need to interact, they need active learning, contextual learning- learning facts and figures without learning the context does not deepen knowledge. GIS and other technologies can help us to build our own knowledge. It assists in critical thinking and problem solving where memorization and recall cannot access and it also improves communication skills because when you’re excited about something you’re working on you’re more likely to get it done.”

Students from Ocean Academy in Caye Caulker Village did just that.

Danielle Novelo, Student, Ocean Academy

“We used the geographic information system to track and identify where manatees had been injured, spotted and also where manatees had been placed under watch under the conservation system.”

Reporter:

“What have you found using the GIS and information?”

Lupita Aldana, Student, Ocean Academy

“The thing that I have found using GIS is that we could find different kinds of mapping to find different kinds of creatures and where they were spotted and we used the information to protect the area and also you will see in our presentation how we have different solutions for these kinds of issues. We used the GIS to collect information such as the proper sewage system because we are dealing with solid and liquid waste which is a problem affecting our village and we mapped out using the GIS system the proper sewage system and the eco friendly one that doesn’t affect Caye Caulker and also the improper one that does affect us so that is what we are doing today. Because if we don’t stop it right now it will get much worse because more buildings are coming in and more businesses are opening.”

Fabian Green, Student, Ocean Academy

“We chose GIS because of it being more efficient for us. Its a way that we can use the data and it is more clear that we can show young children and high school students a way how we can present and we can show them the actual evidence.”

Danielle Novelo, Student, Ocean Academy

“I think its more fun and very creative because you can move around the mapping system in a way you can’t do on a normal sheet of paper and go in detail with the areas on the map. Using the GIS you can go really in depth with the population on the map.”

Lupita Aldana, Student, Ocean Academy

“I would encourage other schools to use the GIS system when there are issues especially they can join the GIS expo and present any issue they want to get out and let Belizeans try to solve that problem.”

Stafin Duncan, B.E.L.

“Exposing children to the limitless uses of GIS at today’s expo will undoubtedly encourage them to explore, study and maybe even be inspired to seek a career in GIS and its technology.”

Reporting for Love New, I am Hipolito Novelo.