Mission Statement

Ensuring that planetary data are usable for any purpose, now and in the future.


The Mapping and Planetary Spatial Infrastructure Team was established by NASA and the planetary science community in the fall of 2014, following recommendations from the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the Science Committee of the NASA Advisory council. Originally named the Cartography Research Assessment Group (CRAG), the MASPSIT name was adopted in the fall of 2015 to be more inclusive of all aspects of spatial data analysis and associated infrastructure. The team consists of all interested members of our community and has a Steering Committee which actively solicits input from the scientific community and reports its findings to NASA as requested.


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Executive Summary

Spatial data contribute to the success of endeavors at NASA if they are correctly acquired and accessible to all interested groups. We encourage the creation of initiatives to ensure that planetary spatial data are correctly obtained and processed and are discoverable and usable for a wide range of research and exploration purposes. We describe steps needed to work toward these goals. We also evaluate the needed expertise, tools and capabilities for development and delivery of planetary spatial data products. We suggest these efforts should be initiated by the planetary science community and coordinated by NASA and should focus on how to most effectively enable NASA science and exploration goals.


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.

This publication is available at https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/ofr20191012

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., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191012