Current Mapping Guidelines

Guidelines in the form of handbooks, tutorials, manuscripts, and templates have been developed and periodically updated and modernized by the USGS, in tandem with NASA programs and research scientists. The materials listed below represent current guidelines, which should be closely followed during the process of geologic mapping in order to maintain consistency between and timeliness of published products. For clarifications or additions, please contact the USGS Map Coordinator.

    Mapping Protocol (2018)

    A comprehensive guide to technical specifications of the Mapping Process for authors and reviewers.

    Map Package Submission Guidelines

    See Section 6.5: Map Package Submission in Mapping Protocol

    Technical Review Guidelines

    See Section 6.6.1: Technical Review Guidelines in Mapping Protocol
    FGDC Planetary Symbology
    Federal Geographic Data Committee recommended symbology for planetary geologic maps (FGDC website). Most of these symbols are available via ArcGIS and also available within the Astrogeology provided mapping templates: (1) generic empty template for Mars (empty Mars example) or (2) with example images (Athabasca example) both from June 2014 for ArcMap 10.x.
Please also visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) or the Archived Mapping Guides.