Venezuelan Architects and Urban Planners Honored with a Making a Difference Award at the 2008 ESRI International User Conference

Redlands, California — August 4, 2008 — 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.

About ESRI
Since 1969, ESRI has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, ESRI software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. ESRI applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. ESRI is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at


Carla Wheeler
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