Global Mapping International
Global Mapping International is in a two-year program of developing a series
of next-generation mapping systems for the church and mission communities. These
next-generation systems will include both new mapping software (ArcView from
ESRI) and several levels of additional geographic detail not included in the
current Global Ministry Mapping System. Funding for research and development
of an initial series of software and data offerings scheduled for release in
2003 has been received from two foundation grants and several other funding
sources. As of October, 2002, funding for the first project phase (thorough
mid-2003) is fully committed. Additional funding later phases of the project
(including additional training and equipping of overseas sites and development
of additional regional data collections) is still needed. Contact Bill Dickson
(email@example.com) for additional details.
Additional detail follows:
Project Outline: What are we planning to
accomplish?; How are we planning to accomplish it?
Project Description: The Need, Proposed
Solution, Approach/Strategy, Intended
What are we planning to accomplish?
- Create a mapping system including
improved mission-oriented, international-focused geographic, linguistic, and
demographic data along with next-generation mapping software.
- Provide this package at deeply
discounted prices to at least 250 existing and 100 new client mission organizations
and church bodies.
- Provide training in the use of
mapping software and data to many clients, primarily through overseas associate
- Improve, through better staff
training, data, and software, GMI's own ability to undertake mapping projects
in order to create superior map-related products for the international mission
How are we planning to accomplish it?
- Contact Finalization - software
- Staff Development - train GMI
staff to use new software.
- Software Customization - customize
software to allow worldwide distribution and increase functionality.
- Data & Map Conversion - Convert
and update current digital base maps, statistical databases, and finished maps
into formats required by the new mapping software.
- CD-ROM Publishing - Write new
tutorial documents, and publish the above software, data and maps together as
an integrated single-CD mapping solution, replacing the current Global Ministry
- Supplemental CD-ROM Publishing
- Convert the best digital base maps currently available on a worldwide basis
(VMAP0), adapt GMI-specific data (language locations, sub-national political
boundaries, additional city data, etc.) to fit these base maps, and publish
them as separate CD-ROM data supplements for each continent and as a single
DVD for the world. In addition, as the next-generation digital base maps (VMAP1)
are released, develop a mechanism for efficiently downloading, converting, and
creating CD-ROMs or DVDs of this data on demand for particular ministry applications.
- Marketing - Promoting, distributing
and selling the new mapping system.
- Field Training - Training our
overseas associates and major clients to use, and train others to use, the new
software and data.
- Evaluation - Communicate with
and survey our software users to determine the level of system use, their level
of satisfaction and productivity, and suggestions for improvement.
Global Mapping International grew out of the experience of our founder, Bob
Waymire, while training national church leaders overseas in strategic planning.
Once these leaders could see clearly where the needs were in their areas
of ministry, they became significantly better at meeting those needs. Surprisingly,
though, the leaders often did not know where the people groups in their own
country were and whether they were reached or unreached, where the churches
were, and which church planting strategies were proving most fruitful. Bob found
that leaders were more effective in acting on information if it was presented
visually and graphically, rather than as statistical tables or text. Maps, in
particular, turned out to be an especially valuable way of presenting large
amounts of data so that leaders could readily understand, make strategic decisions,
GMI worked with a number of other mission agencies and secular organizations
for a dozen years to bring together highly capable mapping software with the
best worldwide geographic, linguistic, and demographic databases. This collection
was first assembled on a single CD-ROM in 1995 as the Global Ministry Mapping
System (GMMS), and is now in use at over 500 mission sites around the world.
Maps produced with the GMMS have profoundly affected the way the mission world
views its work, with applications ranging from major global concepts (AD2000's 10/40 window), to major global publications
(the maps for Wycliffe's Ethnologue, and Patrick Johnstone's Operation
World), to mass-produced mission wall maps (over 100,000 copies of "Status
of Global Evangelization"), to major locally produced ethnographic studies such
as Operation China, Unreached Peoples of Indonesia, and Unreached
Mega Peoples of India, to national church growth studies, and on down to
studies of target areas and missionary deployment affecting primarily a single
agency. In fact, there is hardly a mission map produced today - anywhere in
the world - that did not originate in some form from GMI's mapping system. And
the demand is growing constantly for more mission mapping capability.
The time has come, though, for a major overhaul of the Global Ministry Mapping
System, for the following reasons:
- The mapping software on which it is based, Atlas GIS, will no longer be
upgraded by the manufacturer..
- A growing number of the organizations we serve around the world today desire
additional capabilities beyond the current GMMS software and base maps. For
example, the ethnographic contour mapping which has been prototyped by Joshua
Vision India requires both three-dimensional modeling capability and village-level
geographic data (neither of which are in the current GMMS).
- Substantially more detailed and up-to-date digital base maps have become
available. These are suitable for ministry planning at a town or village level,
rather than the state or district level supported by the old maps. This is
particularly important in places like India with extreme, highly localized
India (VMAP Level 1)
New types of data, such as elevation and landform data, are also now available.
These data must be converted into the appropriate software formats.
(VMAP Level 0 + hillshade topography)
- The international mission community today - including many in the non-Western
world - is using more sophisticated computer equipment, capable of handling
the demands of newer software and more detailed data.
To appropriately serve the worldwide evangelical church and mission community's
need for strategic planning and communication, GMI intends to move their mapping
capability to the next level, by providing:
- the best, next-generation mapping software system,
- bundled with the largest, most detailed, most accurate digital base maps
(geographic, political, and ethnic mapping),
- with the best, most appropriate statistical databases (both secular and
religious data) attached to the corresponding geographic and linguistic features,
- together with hundreds of pre-made maps (which can be immediately printed
and used, "pasted" into other applications, or edited to create new custom
- with specialized technical training so leaders can successfully use the
- all at a price which Christian churches, mission agencies, and educational
institutions around the world can readily afford (especially those in the
Two-Thirds World, GMI's highest priority audience).
GMI has already begun collecting and processing next-generation mapping data
and making it available to clients for particular ministry needs. We have obtained
agreement in principle from our software vendor (ESRI, the world's leading mapping
software developer) to allow us to distribute their next-generation mapping
software (ArcView) at deep discounts for the people we serve. The primary activities
needed to deliver this new mapping solution for the international church and
mission community are:
- Contract Finalization - Complete negotiations with the vendor to publish
their new software with GMI's package of data and maps.
- Staff Development - Provide training for GMI's staff in the use of the new
software, in database and map conversion, and in training of other mission
- Software Customization - Create the specialized software programming required
by the vendor to allow us to distribute their new mapping software worldwide.
(The generic software may be distributed only by exclusive national distributors;
we can distribute it at a small fraction of the normal price if we customize
it in specified ways.)
- Data & Map Conversion - Convert and update current digital base maps,
statistical databases, and finished maps into formats required by the new
- CD-ROM Publishing - Write new tutorial documents, and publish the above
software, data and maps together as an integrated single-CD mapping solution,
replacing the current Global Ministry Mapping System. Make this package available
at truly affordable prices to international mission agencies.
- Supplemental CD-ROM Publishing - Convert the best digital base maps currently
available on a worldwide basis (VMAP0), adapt GMI-specific data (language
locations, sub-national political boundaries, additional city data, etc.)
to fit these base maps, and publish them as separate CD-ROM data supplements
for each continent and as a single DVD for the world. In addition, as the
next-generation digital base maps (VMAP1) are released (approximately 20%
of the world is now available), develop a mechanism for efficiently downloading,
converting, and creating CD-ROMs or DVDs of this data on demand for particular
- Marketing - Promoting, distributing and selling the new mapping system.
- Field Training - Training our overseas associates and key clients to use,
and train others to use, the new software and data.
- Evaluation - Communicate with and survey our software users to determine
the level of system use, as well as their level of satisfaction and productivity,
and to learn how we can continue to serve them better in the future.
Within one year of receipt of funding, we expect:
- To have completed the activities described above under "Approach/Strategy".
Within one year after the new Global Ministry Mapping System is published we
- At least 200 of GMI's current GMMS users will have upgraded to the new system.
- At least 100 new sites will be using the new GMMS system.
- Maps produced with the new GMMS will be a major element of at least 20 widely
distributed mission publications.
- At least 50% of the users of new GMMS will have completed at least one mapping
project having significant effect on their ministry direction or their ability
to explain their ministry to donors, partners, and others.
- At least 20 leaders on four continents will have been trained in effectively
using the new mapping system.
The completion of this project also provides a foundation for Internet delivery
of user-customized mission maps and for a substantially enhanced GMI capacity
to deliver custom printed maps to mission clients. These projects are expected
to be implemented in longer time frames and to be funded by other donors and
Long term, we expect to see the real fruit (the real reason we do all this),
- More and better evangelical mission ministry around the world - more effective
prayer, planning, managing, reporting, training, mobilizing, recruiting, and
- More people hearing the gospel, coming to know Christ, growing in Him, and
planting more churches.
- More rejoicing in heaven, as God's grace produces more abundant eternal
It is our prayer that the new Global Ministry Mapping System will indeed help
to multiply the ministry impact of God's people around the world.