A new startup called GoodLands is using mapping technologies to shed light on critical information pertaining to Catholicism like the location of local parishes and how to communicate with other Catholic communities.
Founder Molly Burhans, who planned on becoming a nun, started the initiative in order to “to transform a sense of ownership of land into a sense of stewardship amongst communities,” according to the official website.
While researching, Burhans discovered a gap in concrete data of the land holdings of the Catholic Church, according to TechCrunch.
Burhans is now using geospatial information systems (GIS), which stores, analyzes and charts geographic data, to help the Catholic Church increase the understanding and future planning of its landholdings.
GoodLands announced a partnership with Esri, a premiere international supplier of geographic information software, on Tuesday, reports TechCrunch.
GoodLands has so far mapped roughly 35,000 Catholic properties in the U.S. This data is part of their Catholic Geographic Information Systems Center (CGISC). GoodLands teamed up with parishioners, academic institutions, and nonprofits to collect such critical, yet widely dispersed information.
Burhans recently traveled to Rome to showcase GoodLands’ capabilities at the Vatican Youth Symposium. CGISC was ultimately approved by the Vatican’s Technology and Arts Council, according to TechCrunch.
“Our mission is to facilitate digital transformation of Catholic organizations and increased interoperability among the global Catholic community by providing a hub of Catholic data,” the CGISC mission page reads.
The free and easy exchange of information on Catholic land holdings could help the Church show which dioceses need aid or assistance whether in case of emergencies like a natural disaster, or just due to lack of funding or attention.
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