'Shaping' Lunar Science with Vector Data

various colorful shapes overlaid on an orthographic projection of the Moon
Twenty new shapefiles created by the LROC Team are now available! A few of the shapefiles shown here include mare age units, footprints of digital terrain models (DTMs), and the locations of small geologic features such as irregular mare patches (IMPs) and lobate scarps [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

A shapefile is a common format for vector data: points, lines, or polygons that represent features such as the locations of the Apollo landers, the linear lobate scarps, and the footprints of NAC DTMs. Shapefiles can be used with many geographic information system (GIS) software tools, including ArcGIS, QGIS, LunaServ and JMARS, to locate, display, and analyze LROC data. There are many ways to use this type of data, such as locating small geologic features that are otherwise difficult to find, identifying existing LROC data (i.e. NAC stereo images, DTMs, or featured mosaic image sets) that cover specific regions of interest, and to clip raster data to a specific area.

NAC DTM footprints and NAC geo-stereo footprints overlaid on Copernicus Crater
Shapes of NAC DTMs (red-brown) and NAC stereo observations (green) overlaid on a WAC mosaic of Copernicus crater (centered 9.62ºN, 339.92ºE). The pink-orange circle shows the crater rim and is part of the Copernican Craters shapefile. Pink lines show the mare boundary shapefile. These shapefiles provide a simple way to determine whether stereo or DTM coverage exists for an area [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

Map of IMPs with inset of Maskelyne IMP
Irregular Mare Patches (IMPs) are small features believed to be related to very young lunar volcanism. Because of their small size, most are only visible in the high resolution NAC images and can be very difficult to find. Dots on the WAC mosaic show the locations of all the known IMPs; the red dot shows the location of a small IMP near Maskelyne crater (inset), centered at (4.330ºN, 33.750ºE). Note the difference between the two scale bars. The shapefile of IMP locations is a good tool for locating these tiny but fascinating features [NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University].

All of these shapefiles and more are archived in the PDS and can be found on the LROC RDR Products site. You can also find these layers through Quickmap and the Lunaserv Global Explorer. There are currently 20 different shapefiles available:

Published by Megan Henriksen on 18 July 2017