another Computer programs for plotting distributional data.
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Online Map Creation (OMC).
One of my favorites is Online Map Creation (OMC). A german site. Learning curve is minimal and procedures are well explained. You can choose the output file type depending on your purpose. The Adobe Illustrator file created is vector-based and can be edited to suit.

James Macklin Ph. D

Go to

It is shareware with a recommend cost of $40 US. $20 for the program,
$20 for the map files.

It exports to various Windows formats, etc.


F. Christian Thompson

There is a new package of modules for Mesquite in prerelease (beta)
that plots distributions; see You can supply
your own maps, which gives you flexibility as to region, style of
map, and so on.

Wayne Maddison

If you are on a Mac, you should
have a look at iMap.
The program can import data from Excel, Filemaker, Access and other
databases. iMap comes with more than 80 maps (worldwide coverage),
available for free on the iMap website. And you can create your own,
custom maps on the NOAA website. It's also quite easy to learn and use.
More information is available at:

Best wishes,

Peter Schols

I recommend you try Diva-GIS. It was developed for just this purpose. Version 5.2 has just been released.

This is a free GIS program, very easy and intuitive to use and includes some good documentation.

It also includes some inbuilt bioclimatic modelling algorithms, and has recently incorporated some very useful data quality checking routines (e.g. some outlier detection algorithms that use climate to detect outliers.

It can be downloaded from This site also includes some good data layers that will make your work very easy.


Arthur D. Chapman

See list of free SW at

Zdenek Skala

Generic Point Mapper
The most painless way to just plot species that I know of is the generic point
mapper Nothing to install, you just put
in the data and it makes the map.

Stinger Guala

Dear colleagues,
since about two years I work with Alan Morton's DMAP which I found
due to quite a similar thread on this list in October, 2003. Then,
Erast Parmasto wrote:
DMAPW - see
For continents and other greater areas - Versamap Vers. 2.07 -
Shareware - see
   I have used both of these (DMAP - some 10 years already) and have
not found any better (for my work...) Erast Parmasto, mycologist

                                 Best regards

Manifold is worth every dollar. I am using it now for 1,5 years and am very satisfied. Further, as botanical institute you can get an academic license agreement which includes all additional features and free upgrades for $245. Check for more information. Regards, Niels

Map Window
An excellent freeware (open source) mapping software is MapWindow,
available at

MapWindow is highly customisable by writing plug-ins. Thus it can be

        as an alternative desktop GIS
        to distribute data to others
        to develop and distribute custom spatial data analyses

For simple mapping of specimen locality data it is rather like DIVA-GIS.

Nicholas Lander

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Last modified on Tuesday, 12 November 2019