Ground-based support is crucial even for a multi-spacecraft mission in the magnetosphere to obtain information on the medium and global scale plasma environment the satellites are located in. Such support can be provided by networks of magnetometers, radars, all-sky cameras, and other ground-based instruments. We give an overview of methods for obtaining two-dimensional, instantaneous distributions of macroscopic ionospheric electrodynamic parameters, starting from different measured input data sets of both satellite and ground-based data. Detailed explanation is given for the method of characteristics which uses ground magnetometer and coherent scatter radar data as an input, and for the newly developed "elementary current method" that can be used if the field-aligned current (FAC) distribution mapped to the ionosphere has additionally been masured by satellites. An application example for the method of characteristics is given for which the detailed FAC configuration of an IMF B-Y-related cusp current system is derived.