A new map of Mars imagines how Medieval cartographers would have depicted the Red Planet had they the ability to travel there. The is called "Here There Be Robots," a reference to the myth that Medieval map makers would write "here be dragons" on maps to indicate that an area remained unexplored. (Although no maps that actually use this phrase remain today, a globe from the 1500s, one of the earliest European globes ever made, .)
The map was created by Eleanor Lutz, a science illustration designer who runs the blog . The former biology student told that she decided to use a Medieval style for her map of Mars because cartographers in the Middle Ages were creating maps of "new worlds" without having all the pertinent information, similar to her situation mapping the Red Planet.
"Recently I've been really into old maps made by medieval explorers," writes Lutz on . "I thought it would be fun to use their historical design style to illustrate our current adventures into unexplored territory."
The map uses data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA), an instrument on NASA's spacecraft, which launched in 1996 and took measurements of the Martian surface from orbit until 2006. An additional overlay of NASA's topographic imagery adds color to Lutz's map, and she included the full names of the people and places that each Martian crater was named for. The landing sites for spacecraft are also indicated by large red circles.
You can order a Medieval Mars map on .