Brussels, January 9, 2020 (Aleteia / National Catholic Reporter). GoodLands, a U.S. non-profit digital mapping firm, has released more than 100 maps and data sets for free online on the global presence of the Catholic Church.

 

The purpose of the Catholic GeoHub (a web-accessible database that stores geographic data) is to help religious communities around the world understand and map their parish boundaries, provinces, programs, and landholdings.

 

Religious communities can also use the maps to better manage their missions, environmental and social impact, and improve the financial stewardship of their assets, for the benefit of people and the environment. 

 

On the website, visitors from around the world can gain a global understanding of the temporal presence of the Catholic Church and its people by having efficient access to data, maps, and applications.

 

The maps vary from showing diocesan land use/land cover, species richness in each ecclesial jurisdiction, the Church’s “carbon footprint” or the priest shortage around the world, which was a major issue at the recent Synod of Bishops for the Amazon.

 

Molly Burhans, the young of GoodLands, used information from the Vatican Secretariat of State and its Central Office for Church Statistics and additional data provided by David Cheney, founder of the website catholic-hierachy.org.

 

The release of the maps and data could give Catholics "a common ground" for understanding some of the realities the church faces, she said. She hopes it helps "how Catholics see each other and how we understand the global church."

 

To know more, go to catholic-geo-hub.