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British High Commission highlights Geographic Information System (GIS) Officer, Maritza Canto

Posted: Tuesday, March 28, 2023. 4:41 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: In honor of Women’s Month, the British High Commission is highlighting outstanding Belizean women.

Today’s feature is on Geographic Information System (GIS) Officer, Maritza Canto.

Maritza holds a Bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in mathematics from the University of Belize.

 She later pursued a Master’s in Environmentally Sustainable Development at the National Central University in Taiwan.

Her enthusiasm for geographic information systems (GIS) led her to expand her knowledge and skills in national GIS-related projects in Belize.

She has gained 11 years of experience in the field of GIS, which started in 2011 at the Belize Coastal Zone Management Authority & Institute (CZMAI). At CZMAI, she led the creation of the coastal & marine zoning scheme for the Belize Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan.

Currently, Maritza is the Geographic Information System (GIS) Officer at the Statistical Institute of Belize.

She is responsible for the development of the GIS unit at the institute.

 The unit is responsible for the census mapping project, where a national building footprint for the country was developed, which guided the census enumerators to locate each household efficiently and effectively during the 2022 Population & Housing Census.

For this census mapping project, she implemented the use of an Enterprise GIS infrastructure with PostgreSQL and PostGIS extension through Environmental System Research Institute (ESRI) Statistical Modernisation Program.

This enterprise GIS allows for a multi-user environment and management of users where more than 800 census enumerators can collect and synchronize data at once.

In addition, the enterprise GIS has created an ArcGIS Dashboard for real-time monitoring and management of census field data collection.

Maritza is implementing programming languages such as R and Python to automate some of the census GIS data processing tasks to produce thematic maps in an interactive map platform for the Belizean people.


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