Get the lay of the lunar land with these new, hyper-detailed NASA Moon maps

Contributed by
Apr 17, 2015

If you’ve ever wanted to see the moon mapped out by some of the best cartographers on our planet, this definitely fits the bill.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has put together some extremely detailed maps of the lunar service, at the request of NASA, using 6.5 billion measurements collected by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter, along with data captured by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Wide Angle Camera (WAC) and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). It’s a ton of information, and the full high-res versions of the maps can reach to almost half a GB in size.

The maps include any features larger than 53 miles in diameter, and with the right tweaks, you could seriously use these things to 3D print your own moon. These could also come in handy for any aspiring billionaires (or supervillains) planning to build their moon base. They're also gorgeous from an artistic point of view (*saves file as wallpaper*).

Check out some smaller versions of the maps below, and access the ultra high-res graphics from the USGS here and here.

(Via io9, USGS)