I've heard somewhere that we have better maps of the surface of Mars than the deepest areas of the sea.

But how accurate are the maps really? Also, how much we have mapped about the surface of Mars?

  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage I meant maps; the area (in square kilometres( we have maps about. At least, I don't really think that the deepest ares of sea are less explored by man-made devices than the surface of Mars by the rovers. (question edited) $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 5, 2013 at 15:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Again, maps to what level of detail? The entirety of the Earth, Mars, Moon, and Venus (and I believe others) have been mapped to varying levels of detail. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage
    Commented Sep 5, 2013 at 15:18
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage The source of the information I meantioned at the beginning didn't speak about level of detail. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 5, 2013 at 15:19
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ To show you what I mean, you could say all of the Earth is mapped--if you go to Google Earth you can see the entire surface area, to a certain level of detail. But, there are many trenches in the ocean, for example, that we don't have a lot of great detail on. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage
    Commented Sep 5, 2013 at 15:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If it helps this discussion at all: google.com/mars $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 5, 2013 at 15:50

1 Answer 1


The highest global coverage of Mars belongs to the THEMIS camera, which has a resolution of 100m per pixel. CTX will likely have global coverage as well, it is currently at 75% coverage, as of April 12, 2012. No doubt this is even higher since then.

The highest resolution from orbit at Mars is the HiRISE camera, at 25 cm/pixel.

Earth's Oceans, for instance, don't have near the resolution. There is an article from 1995 for instance that states that the Ocean Bottom was finally mapped to Venus's resolution, for instance. The best map of the Ocean floor appears to be 100m resolution, with some areas of higher resolution.

  • $\begingroup$ Do these maps include anything beyond elevation? $\endgroup$
    – gerrit
    Commented Sep 5, 2013 at 18:18
  • $\begingroup$ Which maps, Earth or Mars? $\endgroup$
    – PearsonArtPhoto
    Commented Sep 5, 2013 at 18:45
  • $\begingroup$ The Mars ones (ocean floor would be interesting too, but the question would likely be off-topic here). $\endgroup$
    – gerrit
    Commented Sep 5, 2013 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ Mars are all photographs, similar to seen in Google Earth. The highest elevation map of Mars is MOLA, with a resolution of about 1 km/pixel. See pubs.usgs.gov/imap/i2782 $\endgroup$
    – PearsonArtPhoto
    Commented Sep 5, 2013 at 18:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.