Modern geospatial science integrates spatial and attribute data to visualize, manipulate, analyze, and present land-based resource patterns. Geographic Information System (GIS) technology has been applied in systematic studies of the Myristicaceae family and is now being tested, at various spatial scales, in other families of Neotropical plants, such as the Cucurbitaceae. We introduce traditional mapping of species point data, and follow with the addition of various informative geospatial data layers. We add Digital Elevation Model (DEM) grids to demonstrate the importance of this data layer in species mapping and in interpreting species distributions. Results of univariate and multivariate analysis of quantitative and qualitative morphological character data are plotted in a "geomorphospace" using GIS grid analysis. Combined results of this approach are used to demonstrate applications and implications of GIS in the future of plant systematic research, with emphasis on Neotropical species distribution and variation patterns.

Key words: Cucurbitaceae, Geographic Information System (GIS), geospatial analysis, mapping, Myristicaceae, Neotropical plants, systematics