Background: Global maps, in particular those based on vector distributions, have long been used to help visualise the global extent of malaria. Few, however, have been created with the support of a comprehensive and extensive evidence-based approach.
Methods: Here we describe the generation of a global map of the dominant vector species (DVS) of malaria that makes use of predicted distribution maps for individual species or species complexes.
Results: Our global map highlights the spatial variability in the complexity of the vector situation. In Africa, An. gambiae, An. arabiensis and An. funestus are co-dominant across much of the continent, whereas in the Asian-Pacific region there is a highly complex situation with multi-species coexistence and variable species dominance.
Conclusions: The competence of the mapping methodology to accurately portray DVS distributions is discussed. The comprehensive and contemporary database of species-specific spatial occurrence (currently available on request) will be made directly available via the Malaria Atlas Project (MAP) website from early 2012.