1. Species distribution models (SDMs) are now widely applied to determine the potential distributions of species in relation to environmental covariates. Many modelling tools are available, and large sets of maps may be produced easily. 2.A wide range of methods have been developed for the comparison or analysis of raster images and SDM output maps including pairwise (two-sample) tests and overall measures of similarity such as correlation coefficients and distance measures. 3.I present an analytical framework applying a distance-based approach to the ordination and analysis of maps produced by species distribution modelling tools. The method combines aspects of image analysis with distance-based statistical tests and allows ecologists to apply familiar forms of ordination and analysis to SDM output maps. A novel method of recombining elements of information extracted from distance-based map analysis is also presented.