Welcome to the Planetary Data System's MAP-A-PLANET!

This page is designed to answer frequently asked questions about PDS MAP-A-PLANET , MapMaker, or related subjects. Before you e-mail a question please look here first. Your question may be answered for you. If you still have questions or comments after consulting this page, you can direct them to the curator, Patty Garcia. Please keep in mind that it may take a day or two to get an answer to your question.

It is a web site designed by the Planetary Data System's Imaging Node to provide a global point and click system for exploring various planets. The web page uses PDS images plus software known as MapMaker to make its maps.
Will there be any other planets supported by PDS MAP-A-PLANET?
Yes, in addition to the Moon and Mars, we now support multiple Magellan F-map datasets for Venus, and Galileo/Voyager Digital Image Map Data for Jupiter's satellites Callisto, Ganymede, Io and Europa. The Clementine Lunar UVVIS multi-spectral data and Mars Global Surveyor Topography (MOLA) data have recently been added. More datasets will be added as funding allows.

Where can I find more information about these and other missions, planets, and space science in general?
There are many places around the internet. Here are a few:

What is the PDS?
PDS stands for Planetary Data System. The Planetary Data System archives and distributes digital data from past and present NASA planetary missions, astronomical observations, and laboratory measurements. The PDS is sponsored by NASA's Office of Space Science to ensure the long-term usability of data, to stimulate research, to facilitate data access, and to support correlative analysis. The part of PDS responsible for PDS MAP-A-PLANET is the Imaging Node.

Do they have a home page?
Yes. There is a PDS Home Page, and a page for the Imaging Node.

What is MapMaker?
MapMaker is the name of the cartographic software that runs behind PDS MAP-A-PLANET.

I am working on a project involving Mars and/or PDS products and would love to use MapMaker. Can I have a copy?
Yes. Please contact Janet Barrett for information.

Is there a page where I can find more information on MapMaker.
Yes, visit the MapMaker Help Page.

I would like to use the images that are behind the PDS MAP-A-PLANET in my project. Where can I find them?
Most of the images are located on multiple volume CD-ROM sets in our online FTP holdings. The CDs contain their own documentation. The images are in a PDS image format which is basically RAW with a descriptive header. You can view the header by editing it with any text editor. You can view the images with any image processing software that can read a RAW format. Look at the header and find RECORD_BYTES. Use that as the size in the X direction. Next, find FILE_RECORDS. Use that as the size in the Y direction. For those who are interested, the data is sinusoidal equal-area projected with the center longitude of projection in the center of each image.

Please direct any questions or comments about any of these pages to the curator, Patty Garcia.

PDS Imaging Node Homepage

Thank you for visiting PDS MAP-A-PLANET!
The URL of this site is:

Web page curator: Patty Garcia.