With the help of experts from GIS ETC and ESRI life in the world of mapping and understanding our communities resources has become easier. Starting in May 2010, the president and director of operations for GIS ETC, Roger and Anita, along with Charlie Fitzpatrick Manager of K-12 education from ESRI, and Sandy Doss made the bold commitment to train boat tour operators, teachers, community leaders and students from the small coastal village of Bahia Ballena-Uvita, Costa Rica how to use GPS and GIS to better understand the communities resources. Trainings started with concrete examples of how the tools are being used world-wide to solve some of the worlds most complex and pressing challenges. After gaining a better understanding of the capacity of geospatial technologies the team brought home GPS and GIS theory and led practical trainings that we could apply to solve some of our community problems.
Mapping Slowly But Surely
At the moment our community is involved in three projects with GPS-GIS. The two most recent projects are mapping butterflies and birds with 3rd and 5th graders from the elementary school La Flor de Bahia. The mapping aspect of the project is an additional component to a larger project that the school is executing with INBIOpark that involves learning the scientific method to document and inventory flora and fauna in the community of Bahia Ballena-Uvita. The third project we are working on is trash mapping with members from Grupo SURF 2010 and the new Grupo SURF that is forming for 2011. This project involves picking up and mapping trash in our community, separating the recyclables from non-recyclables, and developing art products from recycled material to sell to visiting tourists. The project aims to help students locate and map “trash hot spots” in their community, provide solutions to our community trash problem, and develop a small income generating activity. Stay tuned in for updates!