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Sample GIS Ministry Applications

A wide variety of Christian ministries are using computer mapping in support of their work. Some applications are summarized below.

Church Planting
  • GIS maps the presence or absence of churches (with denominational/mission affiliation) in each village or urban neighborhood.
  • GIS tracks ratios of churches to population by census block, district, state, etc.
Unreached Peoples
  • GIS allows visualization of existing research tracking geographic distribution of approximately 2,500 ethnic and caste groups based on historical census data and of the 4,000 groups catalogued by the Anthropological Survey of India.
  • GIS uses 3-D modeling techniques to visualize village-by-village surveys of caste and ethnicity.
  • Read how the Bamileke people of Cameroon are being reached.
Urban Ministry
  • GIS helps study ethnic distributions and population demographics relative to existing churches, outreach centers, and ministry projects in order to determine the best locations for additional churches and other initiatives.
  • GIS tracks locations of and responses to mass evangelism events, literature distribution, film presentations, etc.
  • GIS coordinates movement of teams; makings sure teams are equipped with resources for languages and cultures of the areas they will visit.
Association / Network
  • GIS coordinates locations of new work to reduce duplication of work across agencies.
  • GIS determines areas of particular need and encourages work in most needy areas by appropriate organizations.
  • GIS tracks locations of organization offices, workers, projects, and other “harvest force” resources to identify opportunities for collaboration and resource sharing.
  • GIS illustrates large-scale strategies and trends and mobilizes present and future leaders toward effective action through publications and events.
Education / Leadership Development
  • GIS tracks locations of schools, libraries, leadership training events, and other educational resources, and encourages those making training available in an area to notify other organizations and leaders in the area.
  • GIS maps locations of alumni and encourages continuing peer mentoring, support, and continuing education within concentrations of alumni.
  • GIS tracks progress of cooperative philanthropic efforts such as the India Leadership Study.
  • GIS enables Indian leaders to see the locations of their donors (within and outside India) in order to effectively plan visits or gatherings.
  • GIS allows projects and organizations to effectively communicate the geographic reach of their efforts to donors and partner organizations.
  • GIS allows donor organizations to analyze the geographic reach of the projects and organizations they fund and identify under- and over-served areas.
Relief & Development
  • GIS helps assess and predict environmental, agricultural, and economic threats in order to preposition resources in areas of likely need.
  • GIS tracks ongoing projects and disaster responses within and between agencies.
  • GIS helps plan transportation/distribution logistics.
  • GIS facilitates the selection of broadcast locations, program language, and antenna coverage patterns to fit language areas.
  • GIS helps analyze patterns of mail responses to broadcasts and devise alternate strategies for reaching unresponsive areas.
Bible Translation/Publishing/Distribution
  • GIS tracks translations completed, in progress, or needed by language area; helps assess best locations to place additional translators.
  • GIS is used to coordinate scripture availability and distribution points with evangelism/church planting efforts in an area.
Literature and Non-print Media Distribution
  • GIS helps in determining languages needed for first language or trade language materials in an area.
  • GIS helps plan the movement of distribution teams, to ensure all areas are reached.

Check out the GMMS map galleries to see how these mapping applications are put into use.

Global Mapping International
Helping the Church See