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Global Ministry Mapping System The world's premier GIS exclusively for Christian ministries.

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Available exclusively to members of the GMMS Community

The Global Ministry Mapping System (GMMS) is the world's premier GIS system designed and licensed exclusively for Christian ministries. As an ESRI Business Partner, GMI packages ESRI's ArcView (the world's most popular desktop mapping system) software with a vast collection of:

  • geographic data
  • statistical data
  • software extensions
  • sample maps

carefully chosen to help Christian ministries plan, coordinate, and evaluate mission work.


So what is it?

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) allow the interaction of data (including your own institutional or locally-gathered data) with geographic data to produce maps depicting the data. GMMS combines the industry-leading GIS software with a wealth of global geographic and statistical databases, pre-made maps, software extensions, and labor-saving tools. GMMS 3.3.1 for ArcView is a complete computer mapping package built around ESRI's powerful ArcView 9.3.1 GIS software. Designed to support church and mission work around the world, this strategic information tool assists Christian leaders to learn about their world and to plan, coordinate, and communicate their work.

How does it work?

While there is an inevitable complexity to turning complex data into understandable maps, the unique GMMS includes a number of features that make it easier to make maps quickly:

  • A base map wizard simplifies the management of dozens of layers providing geographic context.
  • A library of over 200 full-editable map designs gives a variety of starting places that can be modified to create your own customized maps.
  • Most geographic data sets and many statistical variables have "layer files" that can be added to maps to provide automatic setting of colors, line weights, etc.
  • The large variety of statistical and geographic data sets provided, all with coordinated codes, substantially reduce the cost and difficulty of data acquistion and conversion.

What comes with it?

Some high points of the data included in the GMMS include:

  • Three global base maps, including GMI's Seamless Digital Chart of the World, suitable for use at a variety of map scales.
  • Names, populations, and locations of over 200,000 cities and towns. This can be extended to over 2.2 million cities, towns, and villages with the optional Populated Places data set.
  • Point and area locations of languages with associated data from the definitive Ethnologue: Languages of the World
  • Point locations of people groups worldwide
  • A system for population-density mapping for people groups, language groups, and religious groups in South Asia
  • National-level data from Operation World, The World Factbook, UNICEF and many other sources.
  • Sub-national health-related demographics from Demographic and Health Surveys
  • Over 30 Gigabytes of additional data included in the ESRI Data and Maps collection, including detailed terrain data, global satellite imagery, detailed base maps for many areas of the world, and a variety of other useful data

See a complete list of included databases for international church and missions needs.


Can I upgrade the software?

Yes! The ArcView software used as the engine for the GMMS can be extended through hundreds of free and low-cost extensions.  Several of the extensions we use most frequently at GMI are included on the GMMS disc; hundreds of  others are listed at and elsewhere on the web. GMI can also furnish several optional ESRI-produced ArcGIS software extensions to enhance the power of GMMS for advanced tasls such as 3D visualization and surface analysis, interactive map publishing, map scanning, etc. Click here for more information on ArcGIS software extensions.

Can I extend the data?

Yes! The geographic data formats used by the ArcView software are the de facto standards of the GIS industry. Compatible data is available from a wide variety of goverment, educational, and commercial sources. You can also digitize data yourself


What information does your website offer?

Learn more about GMMS for ArcView by clicking on the Features link or compare the features of the various versions of the GMMS. GMMS demo resources and specialized hands-on training are available.

What if I need help with the GMMS software?

For a free personal consultation on using the GMMS in your ministry, contact us.

Where can I learn more about GIS and mapping?

To learn more about GIS and mapping in missions, visit the Mapping pages within our Discover section.

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