Integrating the conservation and management of aquatic organisms into water resource policy is a major challenge. To support policy makers in this effort, freshwater scientists launched the onlinein January 2014. The term "atlas" often evokes a collection of maps designed to foster discovery and learning on a particular topic. However, maps have always been more than representations. Many are also powerful decision support tools. Increasingly, the maps we see are spatial representations of geo-located datasets or assemblies of datasets, and for scientists and policy makers they draw attention to the availability of data that can be put to use.
We have developed a short series of articles for thewith the aim to explore the active role of maps at the interface of science and policy: .