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.
    Guideline
    Link
    Description

    Mapping Handbook (2011)

    A comprehensive “how to” mapping guide that covers the data, tools, procedures, support, review, and publication requirements.

    Instructions for Authors

    -Author Checklist-

    Checklist for authors submitting planetary geologic maps to USGS for post-peer review editing and publication.

    Instructions for Authors

    -Map Submission-

    Instructions for the components and format of geologic maps to be submitted to USGS for technical review.

    Instructions for Authors

    -Example Folder and Templates-

    Recommended folder structure for authors to help organize map submission including Pamphlet/COMU/DOMU/Table template examples (Word/Excel/Illustrator or InkScape).
    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).

Archived Mapping Guidelines

Many of the fundamental aspects of past guidelines have evolved significantly in recent years due to the onslaught of planetary data sets and the digital environments in which they are analyzed. As a result, guidelines are periodically updated and past guidelines are archived for use as a heritage of mapping methods. The materials listed below represent outdated guidelines, which are useful as a heritage of mapping strategies and data sets. For clarifications or additions, please contact the USGS Map Coordinator.
    Guideline
    Link
    Description

    Venus Symbols

    Please use FGDC resources above.

    Venus Geologic Mappers Handbook

    Published in 1994. Some information specific to Venus may still be valuable if not available in the more current handbook above.

    Venus COMUs

    Venus Correlation of Map Units (COMU/SOMU) as presented in 2003.
    Magellan Quantitative Data
    Covers the use & presentation of Magellan quantitative data in Venus mapping (1995).
    Reno Mapping Guidelines for Venus
    Guidelines and recommendations from a Meeting of the Venus Geological Mapping
    Steering Group Reno, NV, August 1996
    Washington D.C. Mapping Guidelines for Venus
    Guidelines and recommendations from a Meeting of the Venus Geological Mapping
    Steering Group Washington, D.C., October 1995
    Astrogeology Manuscript Submittal Process
    Please use resources in section above.
    Tips for Preparation of Astrogeology Maps
    Please use resources in section above.