GMI logo

GMI World

A Publication of Global Mapping International

Serving Evangelical Ministry Leaders Around the World

Spring 2004

Previous Page
Next Page
Newsletter Index

From the President

GMI responds to God's vision as it unfolds

Global Mapping International’s initial bylaws, first articulated in 1984, clearly set out our primary purpose—“to further the evangelization of the peoples of the world by:

  1. Carrying on research...;
  2. Producing maps, other graphics and publications...;
  3. Maintaining a computerized global database...; and
  4. Effectively disseminating information and tools to the Christian Church worldwide."

GMI President Mike O'Rear

In those early years, our Research Data Guide served as the foundation for the Global Research Database (GRDb) software system. Later we began publishing information collections on CD-ROM, starting with the “20:21 Library.” Now, with Christian leaders in the Majority World rapidly getting Internet access, our core way of “maintaining a computerized global database” is becoming centered on the Web (see below).

Likewise, our mapping vision began in the mid-‘80s with developing a software application called “Globe.” Pete Holzmann led those early efforts as an independent volunteer, then as part of Strategic Mapping, later bought out by Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI). Meanwhile, Joe Zastrow, a brilliant software developer, came to work with us, and later joined ESRI to become a lead developer for the PC versions of their Arc software line, helping build a strong partnership between GMI and ESRI. Today, our flagship mapping package, GMMS 3.0 for ArcView (, is far more powerful than anything we could imagine 20 years ago.

As we reflect on our first two decades of ministry, we are so grateful that God is faithful to fulfill the visions he gives, in his own time and in his own ways. And we can hardly dream of the ways in which the vision may be fulfilled over the next 20 years!

GMI Current Project

Web collaboration to put mission research information at your fingertips

Ministry Leaders worldwide increasingly rely on the Internet to provide global access to mission information. Once online, however, they often discover only sparse pockets of information, clustered around particular organizations or projects.

That’s why GMI is actively creating a central location to access high-quality mission research, specifically tailored to serve non-western leaders. The new website, www.MissionResearch.Info, will enable churches and ministries around the world to interact with strategic information in textual, statistical, and graphical forms. It will provide intelligent linking between data sets hosted on the site and those hosted elsewhere.

Recent developments in interactive software will allow the user to query the collection of databases, create reports, customize maps and graphs, and download relevant audio, video, and graphics files.

GMI is eagerly collaborating with some of the best sources of global mission information available. Key data collections, which we anticipate having on or intelligently linked to the site, include:

Furthermore, once the infrastructure is in place, researchers around the world will be able to contribute new data within their own areas of expertise.

GMI has already developed the core system and database structure, and is currently designing the user interface. The website is expected to be fully functional and made available to the public within twelve months.

Keep an eye on the Global Mapping web site ( and future issues of GMI World for further details.

- If you would like to contribute to either the data or software side of this effort, please contact Bill Dickson, project director.
GMI World       Spring 2004    Page 2

Previous Page
Next Page
Newsletter Index

05/17/04 For comments on this web site, write Return to GMI Home Page