NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

+ NASA Homepage
+ NASA en Espaņol
+ Contact NASA
PDS Geosciences Node, Washington University in St. Louis

MER Products in Google Earth 5.0

Version 5.0 of Google Earth includes Mars Exploration Rover (MER) waypoint, activity, and site data along with links to "Rover Site Maps" and "Sol Summaries" in the MER Analyst's Notebook (AN). The following instructions describe how to access MER data using Google Earth 5.0.

Downloading Google Earth

Download and install Google Earth 5.0 at For detailed instructions on installing Google Earth, read the Google Earth User Guide.

Changing to "Mars Mode"

When you open Google Earth for the first time, it automatically opens in Earth mode. To switch to Mars mode, click on the planet
icon in the  menu bar at the top of the page and select "Mars" from the drop down list.

Locating the Rovers and Loading "Rover Waypoint Data"

To access MER data, you need to locate the rovers and "Load rover waypoint data"

To locate the rovers,  type "Spirit" or "Opportunity" into the "Fly To" search box and you will automatically fly to the rover position.  Alternatively, fly to a feature near the rovers by typing that feature name, e.g. "Home Plate", into the search box.

When you have located the rover of interest, click on the American flag at the rover landing site and select "Load rover waypoint data" to display and access rover data.

Accessing MER Analyst's Notebook Data

The rover waypoint data will load as red dots corresponding to the individual sols of the MER Mission.  Click on a data point, and a pop up box will appear showing the sol(s) selected with the corresponding site number and a one line summary of that sol's activities taken from the "Sol Summary Reports" in the MER AN.

In addition to activity and position summaries, the pop out box also contains links titled "Rover Site Map" and "Sol Summary Documents". Click on either of these links, and a browser window will open in Google Earth displaying the specified site map or sol summary in the MER AN.

The "Rover Site Map" shows the rover and footprints of data products for the given site and position. Features for the site are also plotted. Clicking on the map shows the product(s) that cover the given location, and gives you the option to download these products.

The "Sol Summary Documents" link takes you to the "Sol Summary" page for the specified sol.  From the Sol Summary page you can access data products, documentation, and plans for a given Sol. Click on the documents, products, and plans to preview and download rover data.

PDS Nodes PDS Atmospheres Geosciences Imaging NAIF PPI Rings Small Bodies
FirstGov Logo
+ Freedom of Information Act
+ NASA 2003 Strategic Plan
+ NASA Privacy Statement, Disclaimer, and
   Accessibility Certification

+ Copyright/Image Use Policy
Curator: Susan Slavney
NASA Official: Raymond E. Arvidson
Last Updated:
+ Comments and Questions