Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Timothy L. Hawthorne

Second Advisor

Dr. Dajun Dai

Third Advisor

Dr. Christy Visaggi


Implementing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in a developing country can improve spatial planning and decision-making. Utilizing a Participatory GIS framework of maximizing community empowerment and limiting marginalization, this thesis research explores the barriers associated with implementing GIS in Dangriga, Belize and how to overcome those barriers. The research included the identification of local needs that could benefit from the use of GIS, the collection of local data through group and individual data collections, and the utilization of locally collected data to conduct GIS training sessions. It was learned that Dangriga faces many barriers found in other developing countries: institutional inertia, resource and technical availabilities, and a lack of trained personnel. Through the collection of local data and training sessions utilizing the data, the barriers of implementing GIS in Dangriga can be minimized.