USGS Astrogeology Science Center Pgm News News about current and upcoming space missions, USGS gelogic products and historical exhibits en-us <![CDATA[Note for NASA Proposers, Geologic Mapping]]> Fri, 21 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0700 Proposed geologic mapping or topical science investigations of any planetary or satellite surface that are intended to result in the publication of a Scientific Investigations Map (SIM) by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) should check the relevant box on the proposal Cover Page and clearly indicate this intention in the Proposal Summary, as well as in the text of the proposal. Investigators who choose to produce a geologic map as a USGS product will be required to follow current guidelines for the production and submission of digital products, including the generation of maps that are compatible with Geographic Information System (GIS) software packages for review, edit, and publication. To support this requirement, the USGS will provide a GIS project that contains the projected, geographically rectified, and scaled mapping base or mosaic as well as other relevant global- or regional-scale data sets (if available and needed). Investigators selected to publish USGS geologic maps will be expected to (1) provide peer reviews for two geologic maps generated by other planetary mappers, and (2) attend the annual Planetary Geologic Mappers Meeting to present map status to the mapping community and receive updates on current guidelines. Proposers are encouraged to contact James Skinner at USGS ( in order to obtain further information pertaining to the production of USGS geologic maps (e.g., map bases, scales, extents, formats, guidelines), or visit

<![CDATA[Mapper Tip: Display Lon, Lat in 180/360 or East/West]]> Fri, 07 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0700 This simple tool will allow you to ´╗┐display Longitude and Latitiude using the different Longitude domains "180/360" and/or "East/West".  ´╗┐Left click to write current coordinates to ArcMap's Python window to copy/paste into other applications. Simply download (or here) and double click to install on any machine which has ArcMap 10.1 or higher.

Disply Lon Lat Interface

<![CDATA[Contour merging and attribution tools for ArcMap 10.1]]> Fri, 13 Sep 2013 00:00:00 -0700 Ever need to clean and attribute scanned contours? Once the scan has been converted to vector lines (e.g. using ArcScan or GDAL), you may find these two ArcMap 10.1 add-ins helpful for merging and semi-automatically attributing the contour lines. The first tool, Iterative Self Select Intersected, helps to merge lines along the contour path which helps with contour attribution. The second tool, Contour Line Attribution Tool, is designed to allow the user to draw a line (generally perpendicular) that intersects one or more unattributed contours. The user then sets the start elevation value and the interval at which the elevation contours should increment. The lines are then attributed, incrementing the elevation value, as they are intersected. For both tools, the Python code is freely available in the download and can be modified in any way. Just rename the file to a .zip and unzip.

<![CDATA[Magellan SAR and synthetic stereo mosaics by quadrangle]]> Mon, 09 Sep 2013 00:00:00 -0700 The Magellan SAR and Synthetic Stereo Mosaics were created back in 2002 by Vicki Hansen and Duncan Young at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. These are just visual Jpegs and currently do not have geospatial headers for mapping applications. Description: synthetic aperture radar (SAR, cycles 1, 2, or 3) and altimetry data from the NASA Magellan mission (1991 – 1994) can be digitally combined to create synthetic stereo images. Because SAR and altimetry cycles image ~98% of the planet (Kirk et al., 1992), synthetic stereo can be created globally except at the poles. The stereo pairs are viewed as color (red-blue) anaglyphs. Red color projects the combined SAR images from both cycles, and the blue color projects the distorted image to produce a red-blue anaglyph.  You can currently view and download the images from here:
Reference: Kirk, R.L., Soderblom, L.A., and Lee, E.M. (1992). Enhanced Visualization for Interpretaion of Magellan Radar Data: Supplement to the Magellan Special Issue. Journal of Geophysical Research. 85, 8282-8294.
<![CDATA[Map Projection on the Web (POW) now opened for community use]]> Mon, 15 Jul 2013 00:00:00 -0700
For more information and/or to request a required account please visit:]]>
<![CDATA[Mapper Tip: ArcMap 10.1 Copy and Paste Symbology]]> Mon, 01 Jul 2013 00:00:00 -0700 In ArcMap, have you ever needed to set the black edge around a ton of images to transparent? We have just released a new toolbox which might help. This new tool can copy the symbology from one defined layer and paste it to one or more other layers loaded in the table of contents (TOC). The ArcMap 10.1 Python toolbox contains tools to work with rasters (images) and feature layers.

The toolbox can be download from:

For setting the same color-scale for many images (e.g. DEMs), then I recommend loading them into a Mosaic Datatype. This allows all images in the Mosaic to have one symbology mapping. See: Raster Riser for a Mosaic tutorial:

<![CDATA[New website released for the Planetary Geologic Mapping Program]]> Wed, 17 Apr 2013 00:00:00 -0700 Astrogeology's Planetary Geologic Mapping Program is pleased to announce a renovated website. The new site is built to help the planetary community locate completed geologic maps, track maps currently in progress, and find regions which are not yet funded to be mapped. The original website will be available until the new site is fully complete, but will not be updated.]]> <![CDATA[Renovated lunar GIS geologic files released]]> Tue, 26 Mar 2013 00:00:00 -0700 The digital 1:5,000,000-scale lunar geologic map series (I-703, I-948, I-1034, I-1047, I-1062, and I-1162) are now released and available for download. These renovated GIS databases utilized new topographic data and image mosaics to spatially adjust the contacts, structures, geologic and surface units, and map boundaries to the current Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) control networks. While these new maps do not represent a re-interpretation of the geologic history presented in the original maps, the locations of some of the units and contacts have been redrawn to better conform to the basemap resolutions afforded by recent data acquisitions. For more detailed information and a quick view, see the abstract and poster given at 44th LPSC in 2013.]]> <![CDATA[Mapper Tip: ArcMap 10.x Snap to Sketch]]> Mon, 25 Feb 2013 00:00:00 -0700 Mapper Tip: Have you ever needed to snap to a line that you are currently editing (e.g. crater rim or closed basin)? At version 10, ArcMap introduced "snap to sketch" to allow this capability. see:
Snap to Sketch option as shown in ArcMap 10's Snapping dialog window

<![CDATA[Yearly Planetary Geologic Mappers Meeting]]> Fri, 15 Feb 2013 00:00:00 -0700 The yearly Planetary Geologic  Mappers meeting will be held at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, June 19 through Friday, June 21. Please see flyer at

The yearly Planetary Geologic Mappers meeting will be held at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, June 19 through Friday, June 21.

Please see flyer at