Planetary Geologic Mapping—Program Status and Future Needs

Open-File Report 2019-1012
By: , and 



The 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 lacks a modern assessment of the value invested in geoscience map products and processes (including the diverse scientific and technical personnel who add to and maintain this infrastructure) and a strategy that ensures these efforts appropriately prioritize mapping efforts across all solid surface bodies in the Solar System.

A 30-question survey was conducted through an online questionnaire and was designed to (1) take <10 minutes, (2) instill a sense that responses would be acted upon, and (3) encourage community participation through a user-friendly interface. The survey made a distinction between “standardized” geoscience maps (those published by the USGS that require adherence to specific cartographic standards, conventions, and principles) and “non-standardized” geoscience maps (those published by other venues such as peer-reviewed journals that are not required to, but might, adhere to some cartographic standards, conventions, and principles). The survey was opened on Sunday, March 18, 2017 (to coincide with the annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Tex.) and was closed on Thursday, May 25, 2017. There was a total of 265 unique responses that were formulated into 17 unique findings that were matched with one or more recommendations to be addressed by the planetary science community.

Suggested Citation

Skinner, J.A. Jr., Huff, A.E., Fortezzo, C.M., Gaither, T., Hare, T.M., Hunter, M.A., Buban, H., 2019, Planetary geologic mapping—program status and future needs: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1012, 40 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Table of Contents

  • USGS Astrogeology Science Center—Planetary Geologic Map Coordination Group
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • USGS-NASA Planetary Geologic Mapping Program
  • Survey Rationale
  • Survey Questionnaire
  • Summary Responses
  • Key Findings and Recommendations
  • Next Steps
  • References Cited
  • Appendixes 1—2
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Planetary geologic mapping—Program status and future needs
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2019-1012
DOI 10.3133/ofr20191012
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Astrogeology Science Center
Description vi, 39 p.
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details