So, I know this isn’t REALLY related to GPS (more just geology, really), but I saw this news story and just had to share it.
The U.S. Geological Survey has released a new map of Mars, with breathtaking detail and a fountain of useful information for future Mars residents. According to this article, the scientists who released the map were able to get such detail through combining years of information—more than 600 million individual altitude measurements—to map out the topography and geography of the red planet.
The description on the abstract published by the U.S. Geological Survey reads “This global geologic map of Mars, which records the distribution of geologic units and landforms on the planet’s surface through time, is based on unprecedented variety, quality, and quantity of remotely sensed data acquired since the Viking Orbiters.” So, apparently we’ve been working on this for quite a while.
The map is free for download, so feel free to let your inner geologist (or Mars Enthusiast) explore! The beautiful colors you see are indicative of different parts of the surface and when they were formed, and the little yellow dots are craters from meteors. The colors are explained on the right side of the map sheet, along with explanations about geography, history and more. The information contained is immense, but fascinating if you’re a map (or Mars) lover.
According to Popular Science, NASA scientists made their first global map of Mars in 1978, and a few other maps have been created since then, as more expeditions were sent to the red planet. The map includes geological studies conducted from the 1980s onward. Pretty impressive.