Selected Portfolio

Projects below contain images that show only a small sample of completed information products, while omitting key identifying features or are displayed at a low resolution for the intention of information protection.

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Global ecclesiastical jurisdiction boundary data set:

Administrative 1 (Episcopal Conference), 2 (Provinces), 3 (Dioceses)

Dates: April 2016 – December 2016

This project was developed with support from the Esri Applications Prototype Lab, cartography team, software engineering teams, media development teams, and two GoodLands contractors. Molly Burhans provided the vision and executive management for this project and served as the Chief Cartographer by providing design direction. This project took nine months full-time to research, prototype and complete. This included a four-month residency at Esri for Molly. The primary technicians involved in this project aided in the development of United Nations Administrative 3 boundaries for the World Heath Organization shortly before this project. They are a premier group in the world to complete an international, authoritative boundary set. The diocesan boundaries and accompanying leadership information (bishops) change on average every two days and have to be regularly updated to remain relevant and useful.

In 2016 Molly inquired with the Holy See Secretary of State Office about their current map data and security concerns and policies. Surprisingly, there was no existing data-based map of the global Church nor were there policies to address security of data. She sought and received the approval of the Holy See Secretary of State’s office for this project in June 2016, asking if there were any security concerns before commencing. Public use of this dataset will only occure once sufficent funding is aquired to build out the supporting infrastructure and policy.

Support: GoodLands, Esri, pro bono work and participation by individuals


The map above is a print version GoodLands developed from our data. We have a partnership with for development and distribution — if you would like a print copy or to invest/support our capacity to bring this market to life, please email with the headline “Maps for Print”

Ongoing Data Development Projects


Maps exploring the Catholic Church around the world in relation to womens religious, deacons, priests, Bishops, Catholic governance, natural disasters, climate change, migration, human trafficking, sexual abuse, and the environment

Spring 2016 – Present 

GoodLands has an ongoing, developing collection of analyses concerning the global Catholic Church. A number of these were completed pro bono on request of various Vatican departments, for prospective partners, media, presentations, or for internal research. These have been completed with private and university partners, in addition to contractors and volunteers.




Support: Students at University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, additional course projects, GoodLands, Esri, pro bono work and participation by volunteers

Vatican Arts and Technology Council

Map Exhibit

November – December 2016



Three exhibit-sized maps and over fifty web applications were created for display in Casnia Pio IV as part of the Vatican Arts and Technology Council. GoodLands was the only startup featured alongside Google, the MIT AI Lab, Twitter, and Facebook.


Support: Gray Area Foundation, GoodLands

Foundation for Catholic Education and Diocesean Clients

Study and Suitability Analysis: the Landscape of Catholic Education

Various locations

2017 – 2019


GoodLands analyzed the impact of closing Catholic Schools on communities throughout New Hampshire, Nebraska and two additional dioceses. We located areas most suitable for the development of new Catholic schools. One of our clients reported that GoodLands insights helped prevent a Catholic School closure in one of the analyzed Diocese, helped confirm the location for the development of a new Catholic School in one diocese and helped them promote the development of a performance-based fund for eight new Catholic Schools in high-need areas.


The final information products are web-based mapping applications and an indepth 30 – 50 page report in addition to a collaborative design and capacity building workshop.


Support: Foundation for Catholic Education, additional clients for each relevant project

Audience: Vatican Secretary of Communications, Vatican Radio, and various Internet Service Providers


Catholic Radio Infrastructure in Africa

Summer 2017


GoodLands worked with a member of Vatican Radio to map all Catholic radio stations throughout the continent of Africa. We analyzed the potential of these stations for internet delivery sites. This included calculating the population potentially reached by each site if equipped with internet delivery systems. Print versions of these maps were shared with Vatican Radio and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences during the Connectivity as a Human Right symposium, where Molly Burhans was a discussant alongside Romano Prodi, the former Prime Minister of Italy, and Nicholas Negroponte, the founder of the MIT Media Lab.


A small report was developed for this project, including over 15 analyses and maps of Catholic communications infrastructure in Africa additional web-based mapping applications are in GoodLands’ internal data infrastructure.


Support: GoodLands

Religious Family (Anonymous)


February 2016 – July 2016, Map Survey Application Development Spring 2017


GoodLands developed the first global maps of a significant religious order’s footprint. We mapped all of the mother houses of congregations, their superior generals and mother superiors, founding years, and additional information. We developed software to digitize a sub-group’s global directory and mapped all of their houses, membership, and additional statistics about these. We further developed a custom geographic survey application using the Esri Survey123 platform. The order we worked with and GoodLands collectively learned a tremendous amount about the workflows and design necessary to facilitate information collection from large, global religious communities using digital technology in order to increase survey compliance (an ongoing challenge for all community data collection projects without financial compensation for survey completion).


Support: GoodLands and client

Mapping the Global Footprint of Catholic Childcare, Welfare, and Healthcare


UISG and Private Foundation

Exhibit materials, Catholic Orphan Care

August 2018 – August 2019


GoodLands created the first global illustrations of Catholic orphanages; hospitals; dispensaries; communities and institutions for individuals with Hansen’s disease (leprosy); matrimonial advice centers; unspecified welfare institutions; re-education centers; homes for the elderly ill, infirm, and handicapped; children’s nurseries; and population from ~1980 – 2016. We mined several decades of data from the Vatican’s Annuarium Statisticum Eccleasiea, cleaned it and joined it to geodata sets of historical and current country boundaries. We used this to create a significant number of web-based map applications, analyses, and infographics stored in an online portal and over ten print information products including posters, wall maps, reports, infographics, and other print materials. A two-day workshop run by GoodLands at the foundation’s headquarters was used to determine the exhibit materials and direction.


Support: Private Foundation, GoodLands

Annuarium Statisticum Eccleasiea Data Extraction Software

Winter 2018 – Spring 2019


GoodLands developed software for data extraction from PDF images of several decades of hard copies of Vatican data. This software was completed to facilitate the project above. However, it can be modified and extended to mine data from other sections of the Anniarium Statisticum Ecclesiea, such as educational institutions, for future projects with lower overhead, allowing us to complete comparable projects at significantly lower costs than other institutions or organizations who have not developed this software and are not familiar with the data source. 

Catholic Properties, USCCB

Spring 2016 – Summer 2019


GoodLands mapped over 33,000 Catholic-affiliated properties and their identifying information in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. We used a combination of data from The Official Catholic Directory, assessors data sets, and comercial data sets. All projects that use data we have dervied from the sources must work with us to establish a secondary contract with our data suppliers and appropriate payment to these sources. We are grateful for the Offical Catholic Directory’s generous donation to our back-end research and prototyping of this in 2016.
Habitat Connectivity, USCCB

Spring 2016 – Summer 2019


GoodLands mapped Catholic-affiliated properties and their identifying information in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. A groundbreaking project had recently mapped habitat connectivity across the United States. Molly led team members involved with this to develop an application which elucidated how Catholic properties are contributing to habitat connectivity in the United States and which ones have a high probability to be playing key roles in landscape connectivity. To complete this project a nation-wide parcel dataset, among other datasets were donated for one-year of use, without the capacity to capitalize on this work we are unable to pursue the continued donation of this dataset. If you are interested in supporting the re-launch of this application, please contact
San Diego Diocese, Hartford Archdiocese: Ecological Plan prototype development

Not competed in collaboration with dioceses
Summer 2015 – Spring 2017

GoodLands created maps of the San Diego Diocese and Hartford Archdioceses. We analyzed their properties for ecological, social, and financial potential. This work enabled us to create project prototypes to show other dioceses and understand the analyses, datasets, and data standards necessary for all diocesan-scale projects.

Los Angeles Archdiocese

Bid to pre-workshop, full project contract not pursued due to lack of capacity at GoodLands 

2017 – 2018


GoodLands created a 30-page project proposal for the Los Angeles Archdiocese that was enthusiastically received. Pricing and proprietary details have been removed from the shortened, public version. This proposal includes base-line maps of all diocesan properties and analyses concerning affordable housing that would enable the Archdiocese to better address the growing homelessness crisis in Los Angeles. Project bidding included several meetings with the Archdioceses, including two in Los Angeles at the diocesan headquarters.

Transforming a Vacant Lot into a Vibrant Community Space

Principal Designer: Molly Burhans (shortly pre-GoodLands)

Build Firm: RDG Group

Client: Garndeing the Community

Location: Springfield, MA

2014 – current construction phase

This design, completed for Gardening the Community maximizes the efficient use of resources and energy. Sustainable design addresses the interconnected mechanisms of environmental, economic and social sustainability. One of the most important components of sustainable design is the creation of a design with a long-term vision in mind.

Case Study: Integral Design for a Parish

Location: New York State

Fall 2015

Click on the arrows on either side of the image to reveal strategy

With this project we explore how an ecologically designed and planned Church parish could positively impact the environment, the parish community, and nearby neighbors. Scroll down to learn about the whole-systems approach that informs an ecological design, such as the one below.

Climate modeling in dioceses (with Yale FES)

Solar Radiation Analysis, Select Dioceses USCCB

Generative Parish Boundaries, Unnamed

Synod Story Maps

This page does not provide a comprehensive list of our work. Please check back for regular updates.