Small Body Mapping Tool

A simple and easy way to search, access, and analyze spacecraft data of small bodies.



Spacecraft missions return massive amounts of valuable data, but those data can be hard to access, analyze, and interpret. Asteroids, comets, and small moons present additional challenges: the irregular shapes of these bodies are ill-suited for two-dimensional projections.

The Small Body Mapping Tool (SBMT) addresses these challenges. The SBMT is an interactive tool that allows users to visualize and manipulate small body shape models in three dimensions. The Tool enables quick and easy searches for spacecraft data of a variety of small bodies. Once selected, data can be projected directly onto the shape models, and built-in analysis and mapping capabilities facilitate scientific investigations. Click here to explore the broad range of objects and datasets available in the SBMT.

The SBMT has been used by several flight mission teams, including Dawn, Rosetta, OSIRIS-REx, and Hayabusa2. Mission-specific shape models, data, and features will be available to all SBMT users once the mission data become publicly available.

Currently, the best reference to cite for the SBMT is Ernst et al., 2018, The Small Body Mapping Tool (SBMT) for Accessing, Visualizing, and Analyzing Spacecraft Data in Three Dimensions, LPSC 49, abstract no. 1043. Click here for a list of papers and abstracts that have described or used the SBMT.

View all Asteroids »


Bennu, Eros, Itokawa, and more

View all Comets »


Tempel 1, Wild 2, and more

View all Moons »


Phobos, Deimos, Hyperion, and more

Getting Started

The SBMT is quick to install and straightforward use. The screencast below will help you get up and running. For additional help, click here to download the SBMT user manual or click here to view tutorials.

Download MP4 (176 MB)


Shape models and spacecraft data

Each body in the SBMT has a dedicated documentation page. Most of the data in the SBMT come from the NASA Planetary Data System (PDS).

Click here to go to the index of body-specific documentation pages.

Once you have selected a body from the index, you will see the shape models available in the SBMT for that object and a list of available spacecraft datasets. Clicking on the name of a particular dataset (if a hyperlink exists) will take you to a page that provides further details on that dataset. These instrument-level documentation pages often contain an image preview gallery so that you can quickly see what images are available in the SBMT.

Geophysical data products

Click here for details on the geophysical data products in the SBMT.

Data availability

Some data in the SBMT (e.g., those under development, those of active missions) have restricted access. However, these data become available to all SBMT users once they have been released to the PDS.

Download the SBMT

The SBMT is currently available for Mac, Windows, and Linux systems.

To install the Tool, download the file for your operating system, navigate to the sbmt folder, and run the 'runsbmt' program.

Latest version available: on 2023.07.17

macOS 10.15
(Catalina and Above)
  macOS 10.14
(Mojave and Below)
  Windows   Linux

Last build: 07-17-2023

Release Notes
System Requirements
Previous Releases
Terms and Conditions

NOTE: The installation process for Mac users has changed to support MacOS Catalina: 1) Open the downloaded .pkg and follow instructions in the install wizard. 2) SBMT will now appear as an application in the /Applications/SBMT folder. The functionality of the tool should be unchanged. Please contact if you encounter installation issues.
NOTE: Separate builds exist for active missions that use the SBMT, providing access to data that have not yet been publicly released. If you are a team member for an active mission that is using the SBMT and need help finding the right build, please email


Several resources are available to help you use the SBMT, including:

If something is not working as expected or you have a comment/suggestion about the Tool, please contact us.

Contact Us

Please contact us if you have questions about the Tool, need to file a bug report, or have suggestions for new capabilities.

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