You know what would help the next time a global health problem on the scale of ebola happens? Knowing where the doctors are, for a start. It sounds trivial, but the knowledge that there’s a Red Cross centre (for example) in a specific place saves lives.

Firstly because if you live in a rural area you might not actually know that it exists, and secondly, if you’re trying to co-ordinate response to an outbreak it saves a lot of time if you know where there are already clinics you can work through.

Sadly, such information may not exist in an easily accessible form. And even if it does, it may not be shared outside of the organisation that owns it.

Enter, and the Global Healthsites Mapping Project. To call it ambitious is something of an understatement. It’s ultimate goal is to have up-to-date geodata on every single healthcare facility in the world, along with contact details and facilities available.

From the project description:

The Healthsite Map will be of great value to members of the public, to health ministries and healthcare providers, and will be invaluable to first responders in emergency relief, disease epidemic and crisis situations.

Well, quite.

Right now, the Healthsite Map is using data from the Standby Taskforce, The British Red Cross, Medicine Sans Frontieres and Save the Children. It’s been built on Open Street Map by Konekta, Kartoza and Candela-IT and is surprisingly well populated with South African data. Critically, though, the curators of the healthcare information are looking for more data from Sierra Lone, Liberia and Guinea.

You can see the full interactive map over here.

[Hat tip to the awesome @phat_controller]