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I wish to use ArcGIS Desktop to map planets, in particular Mars.

Where would I start in terms of basemapping and projection?

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This is an intrinsic feature of ArcGIS. Just open "Geographic Coordinate Systems" folder, then the "Solar System" folder, then choose "Mars" and the datum associated with your data.

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    Note: ArcGIS doesn't have any projected coordinate reference systems for the other planets and moons. If you want to use a projected CRS, you'll have to make a custom one. – mkennedy Feb 5 '16 at 20:26
  • Can it be called a 'Geographic' coordinate system though as s.s. geography is the study of the Earth? – nmtoken Feb 9 '16 at 19:12

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