Total Business Solution Limited engaged the youths today on using the Geographic Information System (GIS) in school. They held their 7th GIS Day Expo showcasing devices used in gathering geographic data. Our News Reporter, Naim Borges, attended the even to find out how practical it is to incorporate this system into the classrooms.
Total Business Solutions Limited is looking to revolutionize the education system by incorporating the use of a geographic information system also known as GIS. A GIS system is a computer system for capturing , storing and checking and displaying data related to positions on earth’s surface. By relating seemingly unrelated data GIS can help individuals and organizations better understand spatial patterns and relationships. So then how does the use of a geographical map and data translate to every day school learning? Well according to Loretta Palacio, Managing Director from TBSL, students will be able to view places mentioned in class for example districts or other countries and give them a clearer picture rather than having them use their imaginations.
Loretta Palacio, Managing Director, Total Business Solutions : “We want our students to understand that with all that is happening in addition to learning this technology must be embraced. When you look at science this morning we showed them how they are learning it right now and we show them an easier way. Learning to remember 13 constituencies in Belize City just imagine that by paper when we have live maps that they can zoom in and look at their neighborhoods, look at satellite imagery, see what’s in a particular constituency and so forth – diseases we need to manage, we have census data there is a lot but our students are not yet exposed. We have a lot of technology being purchased, a lot of hardware but when it comes to the education part from a GIS perspective which is I would say a platform for development national development around the world we need to embrace it.”
But this GIS system is not something new to Belize, in fact it has been in effect in other sectors. Ministries such as the Ministry of Health and Ministry of National Security use these systems in their database. In the Belize Coast Guard drones are used to gather aerial surveillance of an area to record patterns that occur, satellite imagery is also used in this process. Eden Olivera Petty Officer First Class Belize Coast Guard was able to tell us more.
Eden Olivera Petty Officer First Class Belize Coast Guard: “We use GIS, it is a database so we receive data from the field work from different FOBs operating bases and patrols and we establish that data and it goes through screening process and after the screening process we then put the data into informative maps using it as a visual to have a visual location of where the incident took place. In most cases its search and rescue and different maritime offenses and those are being logged, processed and then integrated into the maps.”
According to Arthur Martinez, GIS technician in the Ministry Of Health, field agents record locations of who are prominently exposed to epidemics which they then use to decide the next step.
Arthur Martinez, GIS Technician, Ministry of Health: “What the ministry does is that as soon as there is a Dengue case the vector control guy goes out to the village collects a GPS point of that particular house and collect some information from that particular house. That particular person comes into the office and gives me the information and then I put it on the map and once we have it on the map we get an exact location of the place and do a buffer of that particular house and then we can see how many houses we need to go into and do a field location survey for that area. It helps the Ministry of Health instead of going out just crazy running around and trying to find somebody with the information we have we know exactly where to go and we know how many persons are in the house and in each house and saw you use less manpower, less resources and get it the work done faster in a day.”
To showcase to students with this system is capable of doing the TBSL held their seventh GIS expo under the theme “Embracing digital transformation in education”. Students were educated on the different types of electronics used in the field together geographic data.