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August 5th, 2008
Venezuelan Architects and Urban Planners Honored with a Making a Difference

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PR – Rosario
Giusti de Pérez and Ramón A. Pérez
, who have dedicated their careers to
using geographic information systems (GIS) to improve the lives of the poor in
Venezuela, received a Making a Difference Award today at the 2008 ESRI
International User Conference (ESRI UC) in San Diego.

     ESRI president Jack Dangermond presented the couple
with the award during the ESRI UC Plenary Session. The award goes to
individuals or organizations that use GIS innovatively to significantly change
an organization, our society, or the environment.

He praised the couple for helping
pioneer the use of GIS in South America and better the lives of people living
in Venezuela’s barrios. As architects and urban designers, Giusti de Pérez and Pérez have used GIS technology on many
projects to study poverty and analyze where to locate community services and
infrastructure in squatter developments, where 50 percent of Venezuela’s
population lives. They told the compelling story of how GIS can help transform
poor neighborhoods into more modern, livable communities in Analyzing
Urban Poverty: GIS for the Developing World
,
a book that ESRI Press
released earlier this year.

 "You’re doing important work
with GIS that’s helping improve the living conditions of millions of
people," said Dangermond, noting that the award recipients began using
ESRI products for mapping and analysis even before the software was called GIS.

Giusti De Pérez received her master’s degree in architecture from
Zulia University in Venezuela and her master’s degree in urban design at the
University of Pennsylvania. She was a professor of architecture at Zulia
University for 23 years. All her urban designs have won national competitions.
She is the director of ESRI Venezuela.

Pérez
received his master’s degree in architecture from the University of Los Andes
in Mérida, Venezuela, and his master’s degree in urban design from the
University of Pennsylvania. He was the director of the Instituto de
Investigaciones de Arquitectura y Sistemas Ambientales (ISA) at Zulia
University for five years. He has consulted on GIS projects throughout Central
and South America. He is the president of ESRI Venezuela. They both live in
Maracaibo.

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