Monday, August 03, 2009

Belize NSDI

Belize National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI).
With thanks to Marion Cayetano, Galen University

As reported in the news and on the GSDI LAC and the GEOSS Caribe mailing lists, Belize's effort to build an NSDI aims to "foster national development by promoting national competitiveness and productivity". That unusual statement puts it well - an SDI isn't just an ideal, it's part of any modern country's infrastructure.

Belize has experience with GIS. Its first use of GIS and Remote Sensing was during the late eighties to monitor crop potential and harvesting of Sugar Cane. In the nineties it established a GIS-equipped Land Information Centre (LIC).

This 1st NSDI conference was very well attended. About 25 organizations from the public, private, academic and private sectors attended the conference which was held at the San Ignacio Hotel, San Ignacio Town on the 29th & 30th of July. The objective of the conference was to prepare the participants for the development of an implementation plan for the Belize National Spatial Data Infrastructure. The group now intends to complete a draft implementation plan by the end of Oct 2009 and to present it for discussion at the 2nd NSDI Conference already scheduled for the week of the 16th of Nov 2009.

A project implementation team made up of representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment, Galen University, NASA, CATHALAC, the Pan American Institute of Geography and History, and Belize Environmental Resource Data System (BERDS) is responsible for compiling the draft plan. Four working groups have been established within this team, focusing on:
  1. Data quality and data standards, including metadata creation,
  2. Infrastructure design and implementation
  3. Data ownership and accessibility
  4. System maintenance and oversight
The draft plan will address the tangible and intangible components of the SDI ... including policies and procedures, data quality and data documentation standards, and portals and data access options. The ultimate objective is to get the NSDI off the ground and operational in the next 21 months. Good hunting Belize!


Marion said...

Thanks for your kind comments. We currently feel that this effort will bear fruit. Along side this effort to develop the NSDI a team from Galen University is working on data sharing protocols for Natural Resource Information, the Government of Belize is working on establishing an Information and Communication Technology Center and the National Emergency Management Organization is working to establish a pre-impact Database for Belize. That these efforts are simultaneous will reinforce the value of an SDI.

We hope to have a technology seminar with primary stakeholders of natural resource information toward the end of August to explore data sharing issues.

Meg said...

I am seeking some simple geodata (shapefiles) for Belize. Do you know if the Belize SDI has been created? I wish to use the data to teach graduate students while on a short 10-day trip to Belize.

Thank you,
Meg Stewart
stewart.meg (at) gmail (dot) com

Vijay said...

Hello Meg,

Marion Cayetano (see his comment above yours) of Galen Univ. ( would be better able to advise.



Anonymous said...

Does Belize have a GIS point of contact?

Vijay said...

Regarding Belize GIS:
I'd suggest the Land Information Center (LIC) headed by Noreen Fairweather - as the organisation often identified as the NSDI contact. Not much info on the web, but see In addition, I'd look up Galen University (see above) and CATHALAC (see other posts on this blog).