Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature
International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN)
Planetary Names: Mars System

Mars System

Martian Coordinate Systems

For more detailed information about planetary nomenclature see Introduction to Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature.

You can now view the coordinates for Mars in two different systems: planetographic latitude with longitude increasing to the west, or planetocentric latitude with longitude increasing to the east. Both systems are approved for use on Mars by the International Astronomical Union (Seidelmann and others 2002).

Planetographic latitude with west longitude is the system that has traditionally been used for Mars, and was previously the only system used on this web site. Planetocentric latitude with east longitude has been adopted for use by the USGS and other organizations for use in making future Mars maps and imagery (Duxbury and others 2002). Maps produced prior to 2002 (except for products produced by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) Team (Smith and others 2001)) used the planetographic latitude with west longitude system, so this system is being retained in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature for reference.


Duxbury, T., Kirk, R.L., Archinal, B.A., and Neumann, G.A., 2002, Mars Geodesy/Cartography Working Group Recommendations on Mars Cartographic Constants and Coordinate Systems, in ISPRS, v. 34, part 4, GeoSpatial Theory, Processing and Applications, Ottawa.

Seidelmann (Chair), P.K., Abalakin, V.K., Bursa, M., Davies, M.E., De Bergh, C., Lieske, J.H., Oberst, J., Simon, J.L., Standish, E.M., Stooke, P., and Thomas, P.C., 2002, Report Of The IAU/IAG Working Group on Cartographic Coordinates and Rotational Elements of the Planets, and Satellites: 2000, in Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy, v. 82, p. 83-110. Available from ADS.

Smith, D.E., Zuber, M.T., Frey, H.V., Garvin, J.B., Head, J.W., Muhleman, D.O., Pettengill, G.H., Phillips, R.J., Solomon, S.C., Zwally, H.J., Banerdt, W.B., Duxbury, T.C., Golombek, M.P., Lemoine, F.G., Neumann, G.A., Rowlands, D.D., Aharonson, O., Ford, P.G., Ivanov, A.B., McGovern, P.J., Abshire, J.B., Afzal, R.S., and Sun, X., 2001, Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA): Experiment Summary after the First Year of Global Mapping of Mars, in Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 106, p. 23,689-23,722.

Interactive Images & Maps

  • Map-a-Planet 2: Custom map projected global or clipped mosaics for download.
  • Map of Mars: Interactive map of Mars with a variety of information available for viewing, such as topography and geology.

Related Resources from USGS Astrogeology

Topographic Map of Mars
To buy this map online, visit the USGS Store and search for Product Number 115419.

More Maps of Mars Download and print maps of Mars created by the USGS

Mars Topography Data: Download data, view sample imagery, and get information on published maps related to the Mars Transverse Mercator Map (MTM). For additional Mars topography resources, visit the USGS Astrogeology Geomatics Group.

Mars Geologic GIS Data: Download GIS data and view sample imagery.

Maps & Globes Gallery: Mars