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GMI World
A Publication of Global Mapping International

Serving Evangelical Ministry Leaders Around the World

Fall 2002


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From the President

GMI - focused on mission research

TAKING OUR FIRST-BORN son to Wheaton College this fall was an emotional experience for Laura and me. There were deeply personal thoughts, rooted in concern for Steve's future as he leaves home, as well as heartfelt gratitude to God.

In addition, there were some poignant memories. It was there at the grad school over 20 years ago that God used profs, students, and classes to reshape and redirect me. Since then my life has been dedicated to helping international missionaries better see, understand, and serve their world.

That is still the purpose of GMI-to help the church see. Or to put it a bit more technically, we produce and present world-class research that fuels emerging mission movements and leaders.

I am absolutely delighted with how God is developing new mission research services at GMI today. Many of you know GMI staff missiologist Stan Nussbaum; on page four you'll read about the innovative Seedbed initiative he is leading. And in our next newsletter we'll introduce you to Jim McGee, our new mission research specialist.

Why this lifelong emphasis on research? Because as Artemus Ward said, "It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so."

Mike O'Rear serves GMI as president.

GMI Current Project

GMI responds to growing demand for mission mapping

BECAUSE MAPS ARE so important, mission leaders around the world-evangelists, radio broadcasters, Bible translators, relief-and-development workers, church planters, and missionary pilots-are asking for more and better maps.

They need updated mission information, more geographic detail, and more flexibility in how maps are created and customized. To a mission leader, maps can be many things:
  • guides showing the way to go;
  • pictures of reality;
  • tools for casting vision;
  • definition of the task ahead;
  • aids in decision-making;
  • records for marking change.
  • In response to these needs, GMI is dedicating much of its technical efforts to a top-tobottom overhaul of the Global Ministry Mapping System. This next-generation system, to be introduced in 2003, will include:
  • the most detailed geography available for full global coverage;
  • even greater map detail for areas of particular missions interest such as India;
  • the latest linguistic, political border, and missions databases;
  • a choice of industry-leading GIS software packages;
  • software "wizards" to assist in easy map customization; and
  • landforms, either as colors (green valleys, snowy mountaintops) or shaded relief.
  • More information is available at

    Bringing this combination of new software and data together has been a tremendous challenge, and would not be possible without the contributions of many people beyond GMI's regular staff. For example, Daniel Zastrow, a student at the University of Minnesota, joined us as a summer intern to develop the software wizards.

    If you have skills in software development, software testing, GIS editing, or data conversion, and would like to contribute to this effort, please contact Bill Dickson, Vice President for Research and Development,

    Current and future versions of GMMS maps of Kandahar vicinity. New version includes hillshades and more detailed geography.

    GMI World       Fall 2002       Page 2

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