QTL mapping experiments yield heterogeneous results due to the use of different genotypes, environments, and sampling variation. Compilation of QTL mapping results yields a more complete picture of the genetic control of a trait and reveals patterns in organization of trait variation. A total of 432 QTL mapped in one diploid and 10 tetraploid interspecific cotton populations were aligned using a reference map and depicted in a CMap resource. Early demonstrations that genes from the non-fiber-producing diploid ancestor contribute to tetraploid lint fiber genetics gain further support from multiple populations and environments and advanced-generation studies detecting QTL of small phenotypic effect. Both tetraploid subgenomes contribute QTL at largely non-homeologous locations, suggesting divergent selection acting on many corresponding genes before and/or after polyploid formation. QTL correspondence across studies was only modest, suggesting that additional QTL for the target traits remain to be discovered. Crosses between closely-related genotypes differing by single-gene mutants yield profoundly different QTL landscapes, suggesting that fiber variation involves a complex network of interacting genes. Members of the lint fiber development network appear clustered, with cluster members showing heterogeneous phenotypic effects. Meta-analysis linked to synteny-based and expression-based information provides clues about specific genes and families involved in QTL networks.