The Geological Mapping Program Status and Future Revealed

Release Date:

 USGS Open File Report 2019-1012



Mars color shaded relief

The global-scale geologic units of Mars, as shown by draping USGS SIM 3292 (Tanaka and others, 2014) over a Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) color-shaded relief map in orthographic projection.


Planetary geologic maps show how rocks and sediments exist in three dimensions and help scientists interpret land surface evolution through time. They also help guide scientific investigations and place scientific results into a common context for comparability. Beginning at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in 2017, the USGS Planetary Geologic Map Coordination Group surveyed the planetary science community to better understand how planetary geologic maps are used and how these maps and supportive data should evolve in order to best support NASA's exploration objectives. The rationale, method, and results of this survey are now available in USGS Open File Report 2019-1012, "Planetary Geologic Mapping--Program Status and Future Needs." This report includes a summary of the survey findings and recommendations for the future of the USGS-NASA Planetary Geologic Mapping Program.