Why we love it

Interact with Mars’ craters and volcanoes. See all the places humans have touched through space missions and astronomical observations. Click to reveal details of landings (or crashes). Use the map legend to irrigate the planet and see how it might look if water were indeed to create oceans and lakes on Mars. We love how this map paints a picture of Mars and all that we have done to explore that far away fiery red planet.

Why it works

Maps provide a window to places we might never see with our own eyes. This map works because it takes elevation data from USGS and reinterprets it in a way that captures the drama of the Mars landscape. It invites us to explore and, through pop-ups, reveals information about features and human history. The map entertains our curiosity as well—what would it be like if there was water (and then life) on Mars?

Important steps


Tips and tricks

Cartoon headshot of Ken Field, map author

Related maps

If you liked this map, check out these other Maps We Love that explore similar topics.

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