Stellar Cartography

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by DEWLine, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    Berengaria...anyone else still bothered by its placement?
     
  2. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There are several systems that seem "off".
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Where is it placed?
     
  4. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    Well, it hasn't been changed from its Star Charts location: Alpha Quadrant side, X-range: 60-80; Y-range: 60-80. Z-range: unclear. Same vertical "stack" of sectors as Mu Aquilae and the Black Cluster...?
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Okay... in the context of what was established in "Bound," after Star Charts was published, Berengaria should logically be closer to Earth and closer to Orion territory. So, yeah, I'd say that position should've been updated.
     
  6. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    Beneath the Raptor's Wing took that implied placement and ran with it, as I recall...?
     
  7. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Who is John Galt?
    Is Moonbase Alpha still in the maps?
     
  8. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    Not in this version. But that was his in-joke re: the boundaries of UFP-charted space within the Milky Way galaxy, right?

    (Remembering that Geoffrey also worked on the Moonbase Alpha Tech Notebook back in the day...)
     
  9. Robbiesan

    Robbiesan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Sadly there are two problems with a book on stellar cartography:
    1) It's difficult to demonstrate the elevation and depression of planets in proximity to other solar systems and planets. That all gets lost on a 2-D map. Some books and websites try to demonstrate this height difference from side views.

    2) People are not buying books like they were post-The Wrath of Khan. Being an older fan, I can tell you there was a sad period from say 1974 until 1979 when there was precious little in the way of new material about the series. Many of the ones that were in existence (like Starlog magazine or numerous fan fiction stories) happened due to the hard core fans who kept Star Trek alive as a cultural phenomena.

    Several yars ago, Stephen King remarked something to the effect that he'd seen a huge drop off in his sales because people simply were not reading anymore. It doesn't have the immediacy that postmodern generations require.
    ...
    This topic is really relevant to me personally because I'm trying to generate star maps for the four quadrants plus an overall galaxy map and using every stellar cartography resource, plus canon encyclopedias, websites devoted to cartography, and websites like this one and Memory Alpha.

    I'm doing that to create an homage mod for GalCiv2 Twilight of the Arnor so that fans can play within the universe of Star Trek in a way that's as authentic as possible.

    Many years ago there was a computer program that I purchased that featured a visual walkthrough of the sets of Star Trek in order to make it immersive. Something like this is needed in a stellar cartography way such that you can travel through in a 3D manner. I would think that would be replicated in Star Trek Online, but I haven't played yet.

    Some of you may enjoy this resource. It's one that I'm using to help make maps which would be plausible in a Star Trek mod.
    http://www.startrekmap.com/
     
  10. 137th Gebirg

    137th Gebirg Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Who is John Galt?
    Yep, that was the one. :)
     
  11. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, the 3D angle continues to be a pain in the chairdock. As it stands, we've got things like Celestia, The_Sky, Starry Night, etc. that aren't quite yet adaptable to our fannish purpose. The Whitten Starmap site is purpose-tailored, but doesn't yet have access to a sufficiently large database of stars and other cosmic objects of interest to really play with on a large enough scale. For now. The ESA's Gaia mission database, once that finishes up being built...that'll help things immensely.
     
  12. Robbiesan

    Robbiesan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    On of the problematic aspects that is entirely unnecessary is trying to match up known Milky Way galaxy stars within the Star Trek universe. It's not essential and can lead to terrible errors in the distance of stars based upon canon and noncanonical fiction simply because the star isn't present in that map coordinate to be logical.

    Why must it agree? We don't live in a Star Trek galaxy for sure. Earth is way to the side of the Milky Way and hardly at the center of four quadrants. If you begin with that premise, immediately there are issues because of the cluster of stellar mass that should be located within the centre of spiral arm type galaxies.

    It's sufficient and maybe superior to create a star map that fits the stories of Star Trek and doesn't limit it based upon stellar evidence in our galaxy. Because of the change in elevation of a star and planets in comparison to others, that will dramatically alter the distance of planets. There's too many problems with making Milky Way known stars line up with a Star Trek galaxy.

    I do applaud anyone's effort to do so. I recall an earlier pioneer towards this effort who had attended planetarium lectures and done independent research in order to determine the best fit for the Vulcan homestar. Ultimately it's wasted energy.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    While Star Trek has many divergences from reality, it was one of the first science fiction television series that consulted at all with actual scientists and made even a partial effort to ground itself in realism. Its ground rule was to use real science as a starting point and diverge from it only as dramatic license demanded. It didn't always live up to that ideal, and few of the non-Roddenberry-produced incarnations of the franchise have made that much of an effort, but ST has enough foundation in reality (compared, at least, to most other mass-media SF) that it's worth the effort to try to connect it to real science and astronomy where possible. Yes, there are continuity errors that result, but there are continuity errors throughout the franchise pertaining to all sorts of other subjects.


    It was never claimed that Earth was at the center of all four quadrants. On the contrary, it's simply at the border between the Alpha and Beta Quadrants, much as London is on the Prime Meridian dividing the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. Said border is defined as the plane which passes through both Sol and the galactic center and is perpendicular to the galactic plane.

    Even before the quadrant system was devised in TNG, Trek was quite clear on the fact that the center of the galaxy was nowhere near Earth (see "The Magicks of Megas-tu" and ST V). So I don't know where you got this mistaken impression.


    There are problems with making sense of any aspect of Trek continuity. But it can be an entertaining creative challenge to try. That's why we do it: because it's entertaining. That's what fiction is for, right?


    Exercising one's imagination and creativity is never wasted energy. Engaging at petty sniping at other people for choosing to do so, on the other hand, is definitely wasted energy.
     
  14. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    Amen to that, Christopher.
     
  15. Masao

    Masao Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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 ( http://masazaki.deviantart.com/art/UFP-Map-2170-369381515 ), 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.
     
  16. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    "Some details omitted for clarity" ends up playing out sooner or later, barring further technological surprises...
     
  17. Robbiesan

    Robbiesan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    First, let me clear up my statement, something which I though was pretty clear based upon prefacing it by stating "I do applaud..." which is showing positive acknowledgement for them attempting it, while I feel it is misdirected energy. That's what I meant by wasted energy. It isn't that the action is useless, it's that the effort doesn't seem necessary.

    The Vulcan solar system is a fictional one, that was created in a collaborative effort in part by some established canon after the original series, but written by so many voices who naturally won't agree in any sense of unity, and written over more than forty years. That makes it all but impossible to say definitively that this star must be the Vulcan sun, because there's no way it can be.

    The oddest aspect is using the Terran solar system as a point of origin given all of the races and cultures. Arbitrarily assigning Earth as being of more importance as a map reference point is kind of silly. The only reason to do so is some sense of pride and in trying to be authentic to canon. But to then do so, plus try to adhere to a Milky Way galaxy and match things up is mixing apples and oranges. If it's the centre, it's only a centre because of affectation and not because of stellar cartography.

    It isn't logical. You can bet that the earliest known races who were spacefarers and became Federation members didn't use Earth as a point of importance. Do you think Vulcan or Andorian maps looked anything like that? Both had warp drive far before the Terrans, with the Vulcans being an interstellar race around 900 BCE and with warp capability ~ the time of the Roswell Incident. Their maps surely had quite a bit of difference from anything being discussed.
    http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Warp_drive

    It's not wasted effort in the respect that it has no value. I would never say that because all of us have individual passions. I myself am creating stellar maps so people can find entertainment within the realm of Star Trek for a mod for GalCiv2 (something you can partially see in my signature). I've spent hundreds of hours doing so, and while that produces no economic benefit, it's purely selfless so people can have fun and use their minds in a strategic computer game.

    I simply don't think we must make it match up. It just won't because as we learn better astronomy there will be planets detected and should we have assigned a Star Trek planet to a specific real Milky Way solar system that is absent the same characteristics, then that time will be "wasted" because there's no way to get it accurately.

    It's fine if the stars and planets and nebula and other celestial phemomena of Star Trek doesn't match up with the Milky Way.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014
  18. Robbiesan

    Robbiesan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Masao, are you the person who made this really great map?
    [​IMG]
    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: Jan 12, 2014
  19. Masao

    Masao Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes, I did that about 10 years ago when I first started my mapping experiments. It's pretty but not very practical for showing the relationships between stars. Perspective is useful for showing objects that we are familiar with, but with stars all you get is a bunch of dots. Routes give the stars a bit of structure, but there's too much overlap in a least one dimension.
     
  20. DEWLine

    DEWLine Commodore Commodore

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    What we're looking for might well be a hybridization of elements of Jed Whitten's Starmap site and the Celestia software.
     

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