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Spatial Systems Associates (SSA) has been providing GIS services to the Archdiocese of Baltimore for more than a decade. Starting with a project to vectorize the boundaries of each of the approximately 150 parishes in the Archdiocese, SSA produced a series of maps that assisted the planning office in the Archdiocese in their efforts to understand the changing dynamics of population and other demographics throughout the diocese. SSA then produced a set of atlases that, for each parish, depicted the boundaries of the parish, the income and population trends within the parish boundary, the home location of each registered family and, within the parish boundary, the location of each family that was registered to a parish outside of the parish boundary. The planning staff and the parish staff were then presented with a copy of the relevant cartographic product.

Following completion of this effort and because the Archdiocese was facing decisions regarding the parochial schools within the diocese, we were asked to similarly develop a set of atlases for those schools. Student data was used to map the home location of each student and to produce a map for each school depicting the location of the school, the location of other regional public and private schools, and the home location from which students traveled to attend school. Combined with analyses of changing demographics and census data, SSA was able to provide useful map-based analytics to assist the diocese in making decisions regarding new schools and school closures in the absence of political and social considerations.

The Archdiocese then turned to SSA to assist in analysis of decisions from parishes regarding expansion of their facilities, development of new school facilities or community centers, etc. SSA worked with the diocese and regional counties to understand what development was taking place and was expected to take place within the next ten to fifteen years. Using this information, SSA was able to predict the need for new facilities and the likelihood that a particular parish would be able to repay the cost of desired development.

SSA has continued to provided as-needed analysis and cartographic production services for the Archdiocese allowing church management to take advantage of the technology without having to invest in the computer infrastructure or trained personnel that would otherwise be required.

Please take a moment to read the Archdiocese's Quality Satisfaction Letter.