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Environmental Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Jean Lavigne, Environmental Studies


Abstract. For many students, a study abroad program is the first time they will be travelling and living in a particular area abroad. As students go abroad to a variety of locations, they may need maps to help orient them to their living spaces, where their classes are, culturally important locations, and popular places to gather after school. Using ArcGIS, I mapped important locations based on what the participants in the Guatemala program found important to their study abroad experience. I assigned attributes to the locations so that the user can identify different types of locations like points of interest, class locations, and tourist sites both in Xela and the country as a whole. This map will be helpful to new students in the program in providing a resource to get around, as well as showing what past groups identified as important to experiencing the culture of Guatemala and Xela.

Methods. Using world imagery from ESRI online, a streetmap from Xelapages news, I created a map of Xela and plotted streets with their names. Using the directions from my fellow classmates who studied abroad in Guatemala, I plotted each host family that students stay with. While each house in Xela has an address, it is not one that is accessible by GoogleMaps or other GPS tools, so having students' personal accounts was a very important aspect of this project. Using country maps from ESRI online, I plotted important tourist sites and volcanoes across Guatemala, focusing in on the parts of Guatemala that have tourist activities and are near Xela.