New Paper: Knowledge Inventory of Foundational Data Products in Planetary Science

A new paper by authors J. Laura and R. Beyer was just released to help solidify Planetary Spatial Data Infrastructure (PSDI) terms like foundational and framework and provides a thorough knowledge inventory of available planetary data products. see:

As defined by the paper, rigorously accurate foundational products are critical for cartographers when creating derived maps. And by building these these derived maps, for example a elevation-based derived shaded reliefs with contours, cartographers will be creating framework products, thus adding to the overall knowledge inventory.

Is every foundational data product listed in the paper? There are bound to be missing products and soon the paper will become outdated, but it is a great place for researchers and the public to locate existing planetary data. Quote: “We also note that this manuscript, at least at the time of submission and surely by the time of publication, will be out of date. To this end, we are working to turn the data collected and organized within this peer-reviewed manuscript into a living, searchable web-based resource. “

Once this live site is defined by the authors, we will link to it from this page.


Some of the key components of any Planetary Spatial Data Infrastructure (PDSI) are the data products that end-users wish to discover, access, and interrogate. One precursor to the implementation of a PSDI is a knowledge inventory that catalogs what products are available, from which data producers, and at what initially understood data qualities. We present a knowledge inventory of foundational PSDI data products: geodetic coordinate reference frames, elevation or topography, and orthoimages or orthomosaics. Additionally, we catalog the available gravity models that serve as critical data for the assessment of spatial location, spatial accuracy, and ultimately spatial efficacy. We strengthen our previously published definitions of foundational data products to assist in solidifying a common vocabulary that will improve communication about these essential data products.