News Releases

T&T joins global community in celebration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Day

For Release Upon Receipt - November 10, 2014

St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago – The Department of Geomatics Engineering and Land Management, Faculty of Engineering at The UWI St. Augustine in collaboration with the Ministry of Land and Marine Resources will join in the worldwide celebration of GIS Day in Trinidad and Tobago for the first time. On November 19, the GIS Day 2014 Launch and Open Day will be hosted at the University Inn and Conference Centre, Circular Road, St. Augustine

The Honourable Jairam Seemungal, Minister of Land and Marine Resources will bring greetings and open the day’s celebration. GIS Day provides an international forum for users of GIS technology to demonstrate real-world applications that are making a difference in our society. The first formal GIS Day took place in 1999. Ralph Nader who inspired the creation of GIS Day believed that this would be good initiative for people to learn about geography and the uses of GIS. The UWI will join in the worldwide celebration of GIS Day, the annual salute to geospatial technology and its power to transform and better our lives.

The 2014 theme “Beyond the Solutions: Competitiveness through Global Value Chains, Clustering and Innovation” focuses on four critical areas identified by regional governments as sectors with significant potential for growth. These are services, agro-processing, manufacturing and emerging industries. 


The intended aim of the Launch and Open Day are twofold. In the first instance, the event will showcase the progress made with respect GIS to education, development and application in Trinidad and Tobago. It will also launch the National Spatial Data Infrastructure Council with the announcement of the Board of Directors of the Council. This will be done in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development. An NSDI is the implementation of an integrated information infrastructure that provides geographical and other data to diverse users. It provides all government agencies with access to extensive data and tools to support the decision making and policy development processes. Overall, an NSDI enables the Government to ensure improved transparency and accountability and therefore enhances good governance. This is best achieved through the establishment of an NSDI Council. The Council would be responsible for the overall development, maintenance and management of the various components of the NSDI.

Several agencies have been invited to showcase the work they have done using GIS and to participate in the GIS day celebration. Almost 150 persons from almost every major stakeholder organizations have been invited to participate in this event.

Attendance to the launch is by invitation only but all are invited to the Open Day, which runs from 11am to 2pm. For further information and to participate in the Open Day, interested persons can email or or call 638-4979 ext. 6039/786-6888 or by Friday November 14.

Persons can also learn more about the international day of recognition at



About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Website:


(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)