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Current Planetary Mapping Guidelines

Guidelines in the form of handbooks, tutorials, manuscripts, and templates have been developed and periodically updated and modernized by the USGS, in tandem with NASA programs and research scientists. The materials listed below represent current guidelines.

Current guidelines should be closely followed during the process of geologic mapping in order to maintain consistency between and timeliness of published products. For clarifications or additions, please contact the USGS Map Coordinator.

Guideline and Links Description

Planetary Geologic Mapping Handbook (2022)

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A comprehensive “how to” mapping guide that covers the data, tools, procedures, support, review, and publication requirements. See the USGS Publications Warehouse page for details about this document.

Instructions for Authors: Example Folder and Templates

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Recommended folder structure for authors to help organize map submission including Pamphlet/COMU/DOMU/Table template examples (Word/Excel/Illustrator or InkScape).

FGDC Planetary Symbology

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Federal Geographic Data Committee recommended symbology for planetary geologic maps (FGDC website).

A complete style file for planetary geology (FGDC Section 25) is available here for download.  Most of these symbols have been implemented as SVGs for use in QGIS, and can be found at this GitHub repository.

These symbols are also available as part of the PGM Python Toolbox for use in the New Map GDB tool.

Please also visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

 

Archived Mapping Guidelines

Guideline and Link Description

Venus Symbols

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Please use FGDC resources above.

Venus Geologic Mappers Handbook

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Published in 1994. Some information specific to Venus may still be valuable if not available in the more current handbook above.

Venus COMUs

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Venus Correlation of Map Units (COMU/SOMU) as presented in 2003.

Magellan Quantitative Data

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Covers the use & presentation of Magellan quantitative data in Venus mapping (1995).

Reno Mapping Guidelines for Venus

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Guidelines and recommendations from a Meeting of the Venus Geological Mapping Steering Group Reno, NV, August 1996

Washington D.C. Mapping Guidelines for Venus

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Guidelines and recommendations from a Meeting of the Venus Geological Mapping Steering Group Washington, D.C., October 1995

Astrogeology Manuscript Submittal Process

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Please use resources in section above.

Tips for Preparation of Astrogeology Maps

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Please use resources in section above.