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Feb 14, 2007

Topographic Map of Mars Released

Astronomers at the European Space Agency (ESA) have produced what they call the first "hiking map of Mars."

Using data from the High-Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) experiment on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, scientists have produced topographic maps of the Iani Chaos region of the red planet.

The maps superimpose contours and geological feature names upon high-resolution images of Mars, taken by the (HRSC) . The ESA scientist say the maps could become a standard reference for future Martian research.

Data from the HRSC has been transformed into three-dimensional Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) of the Martian surface. The DTMs were then used to produce a series of topographic maps at different scales. Each contour lines on the maps represents 250 meters in elevation.

The results are maps similar to those produced in the United Kingdom by Ordinance Survey and in the United States by the U.S.G.S.