The European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy (EDIT) is a collective project of 27 leading European, North American and Russian institutions financed by the European Commission since 2006. Among its objectives, EDIT aims to create shared resources within European taxonomic research institutions. Given the need for an accessing and processing geographical data, one of the core projects of EDIT is the development of Geoplatform, a portal of geographical resources for biologists. These resources include promoting the accessibility to the environmental digital data through a web page where environmental cartography from diverse sources gathered in a unified way is freely available. This web page is now online at http://edit.csic.es/GISdownloads.html, and includes an important amount of geographical information for a variety of thematic areas, from climate and topography to worldwide regular grids, stored in IDRISI® and ESRI® shapefile formats.
EDIT’s Work Package 5 (Internet Platform for Cybertaxonomy) invites the community of taxonomists, biogeographers, ecologists and conservation biologists to access and use this information freely. They also will be grateful to receive any supplementary information on data sources and/or freely available digital cartography that could be incorporated to Geoplatform’s GIS database, thus contributing to the original purpose of the corresponding open information sources: their universal availability.