The Planetary Geologic Mapping group and The USGS Astrogeology Mapping, Remote-sensing, Cartography, Technology, and Research (MRCTR, pronounced "Mercator") GIS Lab serve the planetary community in part by providing resources for map authors and map readers alike. Explore planetary mapping and GIS resources below, and remember to check back - we will continue to add to these collections.
The MRCTR lab supports Geographic Information Systems (GIS) graphical, statistical, and spatial tools for analyses of planetary data, including the distribution of planetary GIS tutorials, tools, programs, and information. We maintain web-based planetary GIS databases, and a physical GIS lab space for planetary mappers to use at the Astrogeology Science Center in Flagstaff, Arizona. Our GIS databases consist of peer-reviewed digital geologic maps, feature maps, topography, and remote-sensing data under the scientific oversight of the NASA Geologic Mapping Subcommittee (GEMS). The MRCTR lab also supports and encourages geospatial open standards.
Do you need help but can't visit the MRCTR lab in person? Are you tired of trying to explain a GIS question via email? Call in to the virtual MRCTR lab!
Live online GIS and mapping support for the planetary science community is available every Wednesday from 12 - 3 pm Eastern | 9 am - 12 pm Pacific, or by appointment. Please note, this support is available to all planetary scientists, not just USGS map authors.
Mapping Guidelines, Tutorials, and Demos
Resources for Data and Tools
Interactive Field Guides for Common Planetary Analogs
User’s Guide to planetary image analysis and geologic mapping in ArcGIS Pro
Planetary geologic mapping protocol—2022
Planetary geologic mapping—Program status and future needs
User’s Guide to planetary image analysis and geologic mapping in ArcGIS ProGeologic maps are valuable tools in planetary science. Though planetary geologic maps are similar to terrestrial (Earthbased) geologic maps, the nature of planetary exploration introduces unique challenges for geologic mappers. Terrestrial geologic mappers prepare products from field-based observation, often comparing or refining those with aerial and (or) orbital images. Planetary geologic mappin
Planetary geologic mapping protocol—2022The Planetary Geologic Mapping Protocol covers the idealized process of compiling a NASA-funded map product of a non-terrestrial solid surface planetary body for U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) publication and summarizes technical specifications of the Mapping Process for authors and reviewers. Directed by community and programmatic recommendations, the USGS Planetary Geologic Map Coordination Group
Planetary geologic mapping—Program status and future needsThe United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) Planetary Geologic Map Coordination Group (Flagstaff, Ariz.) surveyed planetary geoscience map makers and users to determine the importance, relevance, and usability of such products to their planetary science research and to current and future needs of the planetary science community. This survey was prepared because the planetary science community lac