Mapping Mars’s Eastern Valles Marineris
Keywords: Mars, Valles Marineris, cartography, areography, planetary mapping, naming conventions
Abstract. The purpose of this mapping project was to create a cartographically accurate representation of an Exploration Zone at the Eastern Valles Marineris outflow region within equatorial Mars. There are numerous problems associated with mapping planetary surfaces. Data and imagery for Exploration Zones at a spatial and spectral resolution sufficient for human landing site evaluation and traverse planning have not been acquired yet. Additionally, as technology evolves, it is very difficult to extrapolate which mapping technologies will be used in the near and far future. In order to create this map, assumptions about the future of mapping had to be made, publicly released data for the area of interest had to be sourced, and data analysis had to be performed. One of the key elements of a successful mission is how to communicate the geospatial aspects of the mission planning process to the general public. The results show that using existing data and traditional static cartographic methods, even extra-terrestrial geographic discoveries can be made and disseminated to the public in an attractive and easily understood format.