This summer I studied abroad in Belize, Central America. While in Belize, I organized and facilitated two workshops focused on Open-Street Mapping and other mapping applications. We introduced the community to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the YouthMappers network, and how they could use GIS work in their fields of interest. The workshops covered creating and validating data using OpenStreetMap iD Editor, JOSM, and smart phone apps. Additionally, we included sessions on map layering and using data, QGIS, Arc Online, and Story Maps. To enhance this workshop, Julia and I walked around the city, which we had mapped before and knew the area well, and demonstrated how to label streets and stores the way locals would. GIS and making maps is something I find very interesting, so I was so grateful when I got the opportunity to extend my Belize study-abroad trip to help host a YouthMappers workshop. Some news crews came to ask us questions and record some of what we taught, which was really exciting and memorable!
Emily Glaeser is a senior at Texas Tech University. Her major is Geography with a minor in Geographic Information Systems, and has been a USAID GeoCenter Virtual Intern since January 2017.