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Aug 29, 2019

Belize National Spatial Data Infrastructure Web Portal Unveiled

After ten years in the pipeline, a modern web portal was unveiled this morning by the Ministry of Natural Resources at the Belize Biltmore Plaza. The system will be collecting and providing critical geographic data to the private and public sectors as well as other agencies. The Belize National Spatial Data Infrastructure web portal is funded by the World Bank and is housed and managed by the Ministry. One of its purposes is to assist in its socio-economic development of the country. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports.


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

The Ministry of Natural Resources today unveiled the Belize National Spatial Data Infrastructure (BNSDI) web portal. The portal uses spatial data which comprises geographic information about the earth and its features. The user-friendly portal is designed to collect, store and disseminate relevant geographic data to the public. Spatial Data Administrator Sylvia Norales says that the BNSDI web portal also acts as an instrument for the government’s socio-economic development, in areas such as disaster recovery and flood mitigation.


Sylvia Norales, Spatial Data Administrator

Sylvia Norales

“If you are living in a flooded area, what this portal does or what this infrastructure provides is that it shows you that you are in a flooded area. Now, how it help the government is for them to have this information to do the planning, to overlay this information, to identify the vulnerable population when it comes to flooding and then respond to them. And so it provides the data that is necessary for you to be identified and accessed.”


One of the primary aims of the system is to avoid duplication of efforts and make spatial data more accessible to the public.


Sylvia Norales

“It is national spatial data infrastructure so the information that is there is for the entire country. So information at national level when you zoom to you information it goes to a local level. You have different information there. You have village information. You have where the public hospitals are, health clinic, police stations, fire stations and tourist attractions. So, like a family can basically access this information if you would want to go on a vacation to determine how long you would take to travel from your home to your destination. So it is there for you to access your information to do your planning.”


The Belize National Spatial Data Infrastructure began formation in July 2009 when the first-ever spatial data conference was held. Ten years later, a data-sharing memorandum of understanding between several government ministries was signed.


Wilbert Vallejos, Commissioner of Lands

Wilbert Vallejos

“Together we have overcome significant constraints to reach these milestones, devoting much time and expertise to create the BSDNI despite the absence of a legislative mandate or dedicated funding prior to 2013. This shows the enormous dedication of each and the fundamental role we each play civic servants and employees and perhaps more importantly as citizens of Belize who have a vision of building a model and prosperous nation.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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