Podcast: How location data can help the Vatican’s COVID-19 response

Molly Burhans, founder of the GoodLands nonprofit digital mapping and consulting firm, is pictured in Rome Oct. 22, 2019. Burhans' company has been involved in creating maps that provide data on Catholic resources throughout the world. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) 

Molly Burhans, the founder and executive director of GoodLands, has created what may be the world’s largest set of Catholic geographic information. Her nonprofit organization has mapped church-owned properties around the world with a view towards using the church’s resources more responsibly.

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This work has taken on an increased importance during the coronavirus pandemic: As she explains on “Inside the Vatican,” knowing the location of church hospitals in relation to, for example, low-income communities, potable water, and other health programs can help the church to use its resources more efficiently to extend care to the largest number of people.

[Explore all of America’s in-depth coverage of the coronavirus pandemic]

Molly speaks with me on the show about her recent work consulting with a working group on the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Development’s new document about water, sanitation, and hygiene. We discuss the links between ecology and the coronavirus pandemic, and Molly makes the case for environmental programs as a necessary part of Catholic healthcare.

Links from the show:

Aqua Fons Vitae

Explore GoodLands’ Catholic GeoHub

Listen to Molly Burhans on America’s “Jesuitical” podcast

Can high-tech maps help the church and save the planet?

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