USGS Astrogeology Science Center Pgm News News about current and upcoming space missions, USGS gelogic products and historical exhibits en-us <![CDATA[Second Planetary Data Workshop - Save the Date]]> Thu, 12 Feb 2015 00:00:00 -0700
Conference Date: June 8-10, 2015

Venue:  High Country Conference Center, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona

The purpose of this worskhop is to provide a forum for discussion of available planetary data, including information on how the data are found, downloaded, processed, and used for cartography and scientific data analysis. The goals of the workshop are to bring planetary scientists, data providers from current and recent space exploration missions, and technology experts together to exchange ideas on the latest tools and technologies that can be used to address current needs in planetary research and data analysis.

 Abstract Submission Deadline:  Tuesday, March 31, 2015 

To subscribe to the LPI mailing list and receive future announcements and updates, please complete the Indication of Interest form.

<![CDATA[Map of Western Candor Colles Region of Mars released]]> Fri, 12 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0700 Astrogeology scientist Chris Okubo's HiRISE-based geologic map titled Bedrock Geologic and Structural Map Through the Western Candor Colles Region of Mars was publically released today.

This new map provides geologic and structural information on layered sedimentary rocks at a scale comparable to what a field geologist would see on Earth, including a precise illustration of a portion of the “Grand Canyon of Mars,” or Valles Marineris. The map provides new targets for continued scientific investigation of past potentially habitable environments on Mars.

The map is now available for download (Scientific Investigations Map, SIM 3309, PDF and GIS formats).

<![CDATA[The 2015 Annual Planetary Geologic Mappers Meeting]]> Thu, 04 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0700 University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI
June 20 to 25, 2015

Saturday-Sunday, June 20-21 - Optional field trip(s)
Monday, June 22 - Oral and poster presentations
Tuesday, June 23 - Oral and poster presentations
Wednesday, June 24 - GIS and Geologic Mapping - Q&A
Thursday, June 25 - Optional field trip

Abstract Deadline - TBD (likely May 30, 2015)

For more information, contact:
Dave Williams, Arizona State University

<![CDATA[European Planetary GIS Workshop, May 5-7 2015, Madrid]]> Tue, 02 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0700 ESA and its Planetary Science Archive (PSA) User Group are pleased to announce a Planetary GIS Workshop that will be held on May 5-7 2015 at ESAC (Madrid, Spain). During this workshop the following broad areas will be presented and discussed:

• scientific needs and use cases (existing, new, cross-disciplinary);
• existing technical solutions;
• open problems and areas suitable to improvement (particularly with respect to future PSA)

The workshop aims at targeting geospatial data users and producers in broad sense. An informal combination of presentation, hands-on and discussion sessions is envisaged.

For more details, visit the workshop's web page:

A second announcement and call for abstracts will be made in mid-January.
In the meantime we would like to know your interest in order to better prepare the content and structure of the workshop. 

To indicate your interest, please fill this quick form:

Please pass this announcement on to any PhD students, post-docs, or any contacts you think may be interested.

Many thanks,
the organizing committee:

Angelo Pio Rossi (convener), Nicolas Manaud (convener), Stephan van Gasselt, Trent Hare, Baptiste Cecconi, Dave Heather, Santa Martinez, Jonathan McAuliffe, Juan Gonzalez, Alba Alcol (secretary) and the PSA User Group.]]>
<![CDATA[Update for ASU THEMIS Day and Night Mosaics]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0700 ASU has recenty released updates for the THEMIS IR day-time and night-time mosaics. The day-time mosaic is a nice incremental release (from version 11.6 to 12). The night-time mosaic a recommended major release (now at version 14). While the ISIS cube format can be used in GDAL and ArcMap we will make slightly lossy Jpeg2000 versions available as ancillary downloads from the links above.

Note that these mosaics are still only semi-controlled. For the recommended fully controlled THEMIS IR day/night-time quad mosaics by USGS, see this site. This project is still in progress so not all quads are completed.

Reference: Edwards, C. S., K. J. Nowicki, P. R. Christensen, J. Hill, N. Gorelick, and K. Murray (2011), Mosaicking of global planetary image datasets: 1. Techniques and data processing for Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) multi‐spectral data, J. Geophys. Res., 116, E10008, doi:10.1029/2010JE003755.

<![CDATA[New Global Geologic Map of Mars]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0700 A new global geologic map of Mars – the most thorough representation of the "Red Planet's" surface – has been published by the U.S. Geological Survey. This map provides a framework for continued scientific investigation of Mars as the long-range target for human space exploration. The result is an updated understanding of the geologic history of the surface of Mars – the solar system’s most Earth-like planet and the only other one in our Sun’s “habitable zone.” The new geologic map and GIS database is available for download online.

<![CDATA[THEMIS Geodetically Controlled Mosaics Available from the USGS]]> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0700 THEMIS infrared geodetically controlled mosaics, updated spacecraft pointing and orientation information (i.e., preliminary smithed SPICE kernels), and supporting documentation are available for download and public use from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Astrogeology Science Center.  Nine daytime infrared and eight nighttime infrared mosaics are currently available, with additional mosaics being released each January and July until a global product is completed.  These mosaics are tied to a known coordinate system (USGS Viking Orbiter Mars Digital Image Model 2.1), spatially adjusted to align feature boundaries, and orthoprojected at 100 m/pixel scale.  This process results in sub-pixel registration between images and the daytime IR and nighttime IR mosaics to be well-registered to one another. These products enhance our knowledge (e.g., position, precision, and accuracy) of image placement and the location of small-scale surface features, and will benefit the current and future orbital acquisition of data, the planning of spacecraft and surface operations, and allows for easier and improved intercomparison of all Mars data sets.

 Please see the following website for product download and additional documentation:

Please contact Robin Fergason ( with any questions.

<![CDATA[The 2014 Annual Planetary Geologic Mappers Meeting]]> Mon, 28 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0700 Registration is now open for the 2014 Annual Planetary Geologic Mappers Meeting. Attendance by current NASA geologic mapping project PI’s is required, and other scientists and students interested in cartography, geologic mapping, and map related topical science are welcome!

For more information please see announcement or register at

<![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.]]>