New Infographic Book Makes Mission Content More Accessible



Colorado Springs, CO, January 26, 2021 – Language is a key piece of information that drives academic research, global communications, international development strategies and governmental planning.  It provides deeper understanding and insight about cultural complexities and systems across the globe.  The World Language Mapping System (WLMS) includes geographic datasets that allow organizations to not only see and map where different languages are spoken, but also to interact with and analyze other key aspects of geopolitical, socioeconomic and global resilience information together with the language data in a geographic information system (GIS).


The World Language Mapping System (WLMS) is unique as the most comprehensive, up-to-date, and trusted geographic dataset of the point and area (polygon) locations of the world's 7,100 living language groups.  It is based on the definitive resource for global language study, the Ethnologue, and is the result of over 25 years of collaboration between GMI and SIL International (SIL) to map the world’s languages together dating back to the 12th edition Ethnologue.


The newest WLMS release includes several new features:

  • All data is updated to correspond with the 17th Edition Ethnologue, with greatly improved detail for language mapping in India, Myanmar and other locations.
  • Several datasets updated with additional information from the new Ethnologue Global Data Set (
  • SIL language vitality estimation codes (EGIDS) have been added for most languages.
  • New tables and an updated geodatabase describing immigrant languages, extinct/dormant languages and sign languages have been added.
  • Metadata has been updated to reflect the ISO 19139 Metadata Implementation Specification.


The updated WLMS can be purchase at  In addition to current distribution channels, GMI is also working on new delivery systems and hopes to make these WLMS datasets available for online mapping subscription later this year.


GMI leverages research and technology to create, cultivate, and communicate mission information leading to insight that inspires Kingdom service. Founded 30 years ago on the campus of the U.S. Center for World Mission, GMI has a rich history of facilitating strategic mission research and mapping for international Christian churches and ministries. GMI is a member of Missio Nexus and the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, and subscribes to the Lausanne Covenant.