Google Goes to Mars

Not content to map just the Earth and moon, Google today pushed out Google Mars for those space going travelers who need a roadmap. The Google Mars map, which is based on Google Maps technology, is a shaded relief map color coded by altitude and designed in collaboration with NASA researchers at Arizona State University.

Three different types of data, all of which were collected by NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, are depicted. These include elevation, visible images and infrared images, the latter of which are shown as brighter for warmer areas and darker for colder.

Google, over at their corporate blog, talks about how they worked with NASA on the map to commemorate amateur astronomer Percival Lowell, who was born on this date in 1855. Lowell is well known in astronomy circles for his extensive studies of Mars during the course of his lifetime, having published his views on the Red Planet in three separate books as well as making intricate drawings from surface markings he observed.