Overviewback to top

Croizat is a free, user-friendly, cross-platform desktop software package which biologists can use to integrate and analyze spatial data on species or other taxa and to explore geographical patterns in diversity under a panbiogeographic and graph-theoretic approach.

Panbiogeography provides a method for analyzing the geographic structure of distributions in order to generate predictions about the evolution of species and other taxa in space and time. As of today, there is no standard, general-purpose software for the analysis of distributional data under a panbiogeographic approach. Croizat aims to solve that. It is based on the same database/analytical tools/map graphics model of many Geographic Information Systems (GIS). It does not have all the features and functions of a GIS, but this makes it much easier to use. Yet unlike GIS's, rather than concentrating on database and graphics flexibility, Croizat is designed to perform specialized biological analyses, many of which are not readily available from GIS's.

Features back to top

Additional features (as direct seach and data retrieval from online biodiversity databases and grid analysis for locating of main massings) will be included in future releases.

Croizat is written in Python, an interpreted, interactive, object-oriented programming language, coupled with the portable, multi-platform Qt interface management library, and other free external libraries also written in Python and C/C++ (Scipy, NumPy, Matplotlib and its Basemap module). Therefore, the program is platform-independent, and runs without modifications on any PC compatible with the x86 architecture, under GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and MS-Windows.

Screenshots back to top

Click on the images to enlarge.


Croizat main screen (default view)Croizat main screen (using NASA "Blue Marble" image as map background)


Croizat/MartiTracks parameters dialogDistribution of Zygodontomys rodents in northern South America represented as a track graph computed by Croizat (with satellite image background)

Download & Installation back to top

Source code and binary installaton packages are available from SourceForge. There is no need to download external files and perform complicated system configurations; everything needed is already included in the installation package. Notice: the binary installation package is available only for MS-Windows at this time. 

To install the software, just download and execute the binary installation package. The installer places a double-clickable executable in the Croizat folder inside your Program directory, together with the example files and the documentation. To start the program, simply double-click on the executable.

The software is distributed as free software, under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

Lite Version back to top

A "lite" version of the software (Croizat Reloaded), with limited functionality, is also available. It focuses on analysing data and generating output files, with all actual map display being done by means of a Geographic Information System (DIVA-GIS, Quantum GIS, ArcGIS, etc.).

Documentation & Support back to top

The user's guide for Croizat is included in the installation package and also available here.

It is recommendable to join the Panbiog-L discussion list for discussions and exchanging questions about the software, as well as to get information about updates and bugs.

Citation back to top

The correct citation suggested for Croizat in technical and scientific publications is as follows:

Cavalcanti, M.J. 2009. Croizat: a software package for quantitative analysis in Panbiogeography. Biogeografía 4: 4-6.

Applications back to top

Scientific works which have used Croizat:

  1. Cruz da Silva, E. L. 2013. Description of the male of Architis catuaba Santos & Nogueira, 2008 and new records of Architis capricorna Carico, 1981 (Araneae: Pisauridae). Zootaxa 3635(4): 485–490.
  2. Moreira, G.R.P., Ferrari, A., Mondin, C. and Cervi, A. 2011. Panbiogeographical analysis of passion vines at their southern limit of distribution in the Neotropics. Revista Brasileira de Biociências 9: 28-40.
  3. Previatelli, D. 2010. Phylogeny and biogeography of Neotropical Diaptominae. Unpublished PhD Thesis, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Manaus. 204p.

In the News back to top

Twitter Updates back to top

Be notified of updates to Croizat by following us on Twitter.

Acknowledgements back to top

Many people have contributed to the development of Croizat: Brad McFall, Claudio Quezada, Daniel Previatelli, Douglas Riff, Edinaldo Nelson dos Santos-Silva, Gervásio Carvalho, Ian Henderson, John Grehan, Jonathan Liria. José Maria Cardoso da Silva, Juan Morrone, Maria Lucia Lorini, Michael Heads, Nicholas Matzke, Renato Bernils, and Ronaldo Alperin, and Tania Escalante. Jeffrey Whitaker, Scott Sinclair, John Hunter, Ryan May, Stef Mientki, and Benjamin Root (members of the Matplotlib-users mailing list) provided assistance and technical expertise. Special thanks to Robin Craw for encouragment and moral support. The development of Croizat has been funded by grants from Conservation International Brazil (version 1.x) and Projeto Biotupé, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (version 2.x).

Contact back to top

Mauro J. Cavalcanti
P.O. Box 46521
CEP 20551-970
Rio de Janeiro, RJ, BRAZIL
Copyright © 2003-2011

Last updated October 20, 2017

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