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Appendices for Planetary Geologic Mapping: Program Status and Future Needs

December 10, 2018

Appendices include the original survey, response data, and collated results related to the Open File Report. Geoscience maps, regardless of target body, are spatial and temporal representations of materials and processes recorded on planetary surfaces (Varnes, 1973; Spencer, 2000). The information and context provided by these maps promote basic and applied research within and across various geoscience disciplines. They also provide an important basis for programmatic and policy decisions (for example, H.R. 2763, 102nd Congress, National Geologic Mapping Act of 1992). Since 1961, planetary (that is, all solid surface bodies in the Solar System beyond Earth) geoscience maps have been used in nearly every facet of planetary exploration, from landing site characterization for human (for example, Grolier, 1970) and robotic (for example, Anderson and Bell, 2010) missions to mineralogical analyses of water-alteration on Mars (for example, Loizeau and others, 2007). Modern planetary geoscience maps are either standardized (those published by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) that require adherence to cartographic standards, conventions, and principles) or non-standardized (those published by other venues that are not required to, but might, adhere to cartographic standards, conventions, and principles). Geoscience mapping and its resultant product, whether standardized or non-standardized, is widely considered a routine contextual investigation that should be performed in advance of and (or) in tandem with surface science investigations. Geoscience mapping campaigns are systematically included in mission proposals as anticipated derivative products (for example, Williams and others, 2014), along with other high-order cartographic data products such as controlled image mosaics and digital terrain models. Additionally, planning documents from multiple planetary science focused programs, organizations, and institutions identify geoscience maps as key scientific and technical contributors to planetary exploration (Planetary Decadal Survey, 2011; MEPAG, 2015; Roadmap to Ocean Worlds, 2018). In line with these community uses and priorities, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), in cooperation with the USGS Astrogeology Science Center (Flagstaff, AZ), has built and maintained a non-trivial infrastructure dedicated not only to producing geoscience maps but also to building and disseminating mapping-based resources to the planetary science community.