Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

Pilgrims will be able to follow the papal leader’s upcoming visit to Philadelphia (and plan their own) using an app developed by IBM.

Pope Francis? There’s an app for that.

That’s right. Philadelphia is rolling out a new app in advance of the Pope’s upcoming visit in September. The app will help pilgrims find events and routes related to Pope Francis’s visit, along with information about cultural institutions and events for families. It will even translate the Pope’s speeches into various languages via captions.

The app is the work of IBM, which is rolling out tools and systems for nonprofit organizations and causes. The Church is one of them. The City of Philadelphia and the 2015 World Meeting of Families worked with IBM to build out the app—which I sincerely hope is called Appostolic See.

The program is related to IBM’s effort to use its Watson computer to build a “Siri for cities,” so to speak. IBM has launched a number of nonprofit or public apps, including a special-ed reading app for Argentina, a medical appointment calendar for seniors in Ireland, and disaster-relief apps for places across the world.

Pope Francis will only be traveling in Philadelphia for a few days (September 18–29). But the app will be useful for much longer: The city intends to adapt it as a play-by-play for the Democratic National Convention in 2016.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Smoke from the fires hangs over Brazil.
    Environment

    Why the Amazon Is on Fire

    The rash of wildfires now consuming the Amazon rainforest can be blamed on a host of human factors, from climate change to deforestation to Brazilian politics.

  2. An aerial photo of downtown Miami.
    Life

    The Fastest-Growing U.S. Cities Aren’t What You Think

    Looking at the population and job growth of large cities proper, rather than their metro areas, uncovers some surprises.

  3. A rendering of a community room with a circle of chairs and people writing on a whiteboard.
    Design

    America’s First Hub for Restorative Justice Will Open in Oakland

    Restore Oakland provides a home for nonprofits that seek to resolve conflict, reduce incarceration, and empower low-income people.

  4. Graduates react near the end of commencement exercises at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, U.S.
    Life

    Where Do College Grads Live? The Top and Bottom U.S. Cities

    Even though superstar hubs top the list of the most educated cities, other cities are growing their share at a much faster rate.

  5. a map of London Uber driver James Farrar's trip data.
    Transportation

    For Ride-Hailing Drivers, Data Is Power

    Uber drivers in Europe and the U.S. are fighting for access to their personal data. Whoever wins the lawsuit could get to reframe the terms of the gig economy.

×