2nd Annual Belize GIS Users Conference

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Belizean professionals learn the key to strategic business decisions


Belize City, Belize— Total Business Solutions Limited [TBSL], the local Esri distributor, and Esri, the leading Geographic Information System (GIS) software company, teamed up again  to host the 2nd Annual Belize GIS Users Conference (BGUC) at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza on Wednesday and Thursday, January 1819, 2012. The conference provided a forum for almost 100 participants to expand their GIS knowledge and become a part of a global community that is using this powerful analysis and communication tool to make a difference.

With the conference theme “GIS: The Key to Strategic Business Decisions,” the BGUC gave businesses the opportunity to learn about the role of GIS in business and to see problems being solved utilizing Esri GIS technology. This event brought together sponsors, exhibitors, educators, government and commercial sectors to explore, discuss and collaborate on how GIS can help organizations with planning, analysis, decision making and managing activities. The agenda revolved around how successful GIS solutions are being implemented in every business sector of society and how it impacts our Belizean economy.

“Today GIS is making a difference in addressing social, environmental and economic issues.   GIS is one of the most important aspects of national development and economic growth. Through GIS we can improve information exchange, make better business decisions and enhance management strategies, leading to growth and development for Belize, “says Loretta Palacio, Managing Director of TBSL.  “The conference is a venue to share experiences and examine the role of geographic knowledge as a fundamental organizing framework for decision making. “

John Mencias, Ministry of Public Utilities, Information & Broadcasting, gave the Keynote Address during the official Opening Ceremony and shared his vision of the role of GIS in Belize’s national development agenda. Numerous guests varying from distinguished members of the business sector to government officials were in the audience, including Hon. Melvin Hulse, Minister of Transport, Communications and National Emergency Management and Senator Henry Gordon.

The Plenary Sessions included presentations by Simon Thompson, Director of Commercial Solutions at Esri, and Jill Urban-Karr, Executive Vice President of Stewart Global Solutions, on the GIS Vision in Belize, Strategic Business Decisions & Best Practices, and Formalizing Property Rights. Throughout the conference, international and local experts also shared their vision and experience in using GIS in oil and gas, banking & insurance, real estate, media & marketing, agriculture, inspection, compliance & enforcement, election analysis, and land use planning and development.  Also included were valuable technical training and insights that helped participants learn and explore the latest Esri technology important to their business needs.

Other conference highlights included the GIS Solutions Expo, Hands-on Learning Lab, and Map Gallery, giving participants the opportunity to get hands-on demonstration and training, showcase their work, network, and continue building our Belize GIS community.

GIS has become part of the fabric of countries and regions of the world with governments and private sector collaborating in data development and analysis. “By sharing ideas we can create a strong GIS community in Belize that can match the many accomplishments achieved overseas,” says Ms. Palacio.