WWF Focus - January/February 2013 - (Page 17)
Mapmaking Makes a Difference in belize
By Gregg Verutes, WWF GiS Analyst
s an expert in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping, I expect my maps to work behind the scenes. The multilayered depictions I construct to illustrate the ways we use and value nature usually inform scientists, practitioners, and policy makers. They rarely feature prominently on televised efforts to secure sustainable national energy policy. But exactly that happened recently in Belize. A simple map I made at the urging of a tour guide helped defeat proposals to intensify offshore oil drilling. Our team was in Belize to train local practitioners and decision makers. We were teaching them to measure and map
Courtesy Gregg Verutes
Scientific data and expert mapmaking combine to tell a complex story in a simple way. The visual impact of the Deepwater oil spill’s geographic spread in the Gulf of Mexico, when shown against the span of Belize’s coast and countryside, helped the people of Belize decide to protect their coasts rather than open them up to potentially harmful oil and gas exploration.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of WWF Focus - January/February 2013
WWF Focus - January/February 2013
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