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Old January 11 2014, 06:33 AM   #38
Lieutenant Commander
Re: Stellar Cartography

Masao wrote: View Post
I spent years making maps of the Trek (TOS) universe. I decided that trying to match most Trek locations with known stars was futile, as the Trek writers seemed to have completely ignored astronomical reality. Therefore, I decided that most systems named in TOS were too far away to worry about in my maps, which most concerned themselves with "core" regions. I used HIPPARCOS data from Winchell Chung's website and plotted habitable stars with galactic coordinates, with the z-axis indicated by color.

In this map of the early post–Romulan War era ( ), I've used real star names (sometimes non-Western ones) for some stars and assigned names, both Trek names and names of my own choice/invention, to stars without real names. Lines indicate commonly travelled routes, which are usually only a few parsecs, given the slow ships of the era.

Any star map eventually has to deal with the third dimension somehow (either by ignoring it or by indicating it), but once you get beyond a certain size, the third dimension becomes unmanageable.
Masao, are you the person who made this really great map?

I saw it the other day and really admire the work that went into it...

GalCiv2's map is 2D but the starships are sorta moving in 3D though there is precious little Z axis movement (probably because it's an old computer game made in 2006). When one looks on a 2D map and then calculates how fast it would take to get to Vulcan from Earth at say Warp 1, then one can start to make a stellar map. The problem right away is considering the Z axis because while looking from top down it may appear that Vulcan is close, it might be deeply below Earth or way up high above it.

If we were to say that Vulcan must be 40 Eridani since it fits, then that alters the map coordinate system and would be fine as long as other famous planets and their stars match up. If you go down that path, I think as Masao has stated, then you're bound to run into all kinds of discrepencies and endlessly draw and redraw maps to fit our galaxy.

We can't just go by light-years because it's too vague but it does give some reference points and estimated travel times, but I doubt the writers were carefully calculating but probably making a quick guess, while working on their story. And likely not intending for anyone to make a logical map from their work too....

Last edited by Robbiesan; January 12 2014 at 02:15 AM. Reason: edited to stay within the terms of service regarding privacy
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