Following the successful Comparative Mapping Workshop held at Fraser Island, Australia in 1995, HUGO organized a second workshop of 41 invited participants, held at Toulouse, France on May 3 and 4, 1999. The aim of the conference was to focus on recent developments in genome mapping in a variety of vertebrate species, with particular emphasis on progress in farm animals (cattle, pigs, chickens, sheep, horses, goats, and deer). In addition, representatives from important experimental mammalian and vertebrate organisms (e.g. mice, rats, dogs, fugu, and marsupials) also participated in the meeting. After a rapid overview of developments in the construction and comparison of genome maps in a wide variety of species, discussion focused on how comparative genomics will play a vital role in the genetic dissection of multigenic traits and the characterization of agriculturally important loci in agricultural species. Acceleration of gene discovery with heterologous ESTs (Expressed Sequence Tags) or collections of ESTs was discussed. Recent developments in the construction of cDNA libraries and the efficiency of tools such as whole genome radiation hybrids (RH) and large fragment clone libraries (YACs and in particular BACs) were discussed. Proposed criteria to improve the identification of homologous genes between species and recommendations for nomenclatures were identified. Particular emphasis was placed on how the integration of biological databases could help the scientific community.