The Traveller Map

Traveller is a role-playing game set against a background drawn from adventure oriented science fiction.

In the distant future, interstellar travel is as common as international travel is today. The tremendous distances involved in travel between the stars dictate that such voyages take weeks, months, and even years. A situation similar to Earth in the eighteenth century is created, where communication is limited to the speed of travel, and the stage is set for adventure in a grand fashion, with all the trappings of classic science fiction: giant, star-spanning empires (good, evil, or both), huge starfleets, wily interstellar merchants (or pirates, depending on your point of view), complex diplomatic maneuvers, larger-than-life heroes, heroines, and villains.

The Traveller Book

Official Traveller Universe

The Official Traveller Universe (OTU) is the primary setting for various editions of the Traveller game, controlled by Far Future Enterprises (FFE). This is the universe described by publications from GDW and FFE, and by past licensees such as Digest Group, FASA, Imperium Games and others, The setting includes the Third Imperium, Zhodani Consulate and Solomani Confederation, alien species such as the Aslan, K'kree, Vargr, Hivers and Droyne, and a history from the Ancients through the New Era. Current Traveller licensee Mongoose Publishing brands modules for the OTU as the "Third Imperium" line, to distinguish them from modules for other settings adapted to the Traveller rules.

Under the FFE Fair Use Policy, the Traveller Map presents an interactive view into the OTU, making use of official data approved and provided by FFE — as well as apocryphal and unofficial data.

Official and Unofficial Data

The status of a sector's data is called out when the sector is clicked or centered in the map view. Official data has no annotation - this is data supplied by FFE's Traveller 5 Second Survey (T5SS) project. Unreviewed data was officially published data for one of the many prior revisions of Traveller but has not yet been completely reviewed by the T5SS; it is expected that this data, with some revisions, will become official soon.

In contrast, Apocryphal data was formerly supplied by Traveller licensees but is no longer considered official; all, none, or some elements of this data may be retained when analyzed by the T5SS. Unofficial data was created by the Traveller community, including organizations such as HIWG and individuals. Mixing official and unofficial data within the same map may be concerning to those who want an authoritative, unassailable and pure source of truth. Those who are familiar with the lore of Traveller will recognize that truth is a rare commodity and slippery substance, and often contains contradictions and unsettling gaps. Even the official data is intentionally incomplete, and may contain mistakes, secrets, lies and deliberate omissions.

Important Links

This site was created by Joshua Bell. You are welcome to send email with any comments, suggestions, bug reports, praise, or offers of help to inexorabletash@gmail.com.

Author, source, and publisher information for all sectors can be found on the Credits page.

For details about submitting your sectors, see the Submissions page.

Substantial changes to the site, data and APIs are announced and discussed at the Traveller Map Blog. Changes to the code can be found by looking at the commits on GitHub.

A "Wish List", including known issues, can be found on the Trello TravellerMap.com Wish List.

Site History

This site was inspired by many sources, most prominently some of the treasured posessions from my childhood: the Imperium Map poster which provided an overview of known space in the Classic Traveller era; the Spinward Marches poster included with Deluxe Traveller; and the Atlas of the Imperium, which provided cursory maps of all sectors of the Third Imperium. In the early 1980's, using these and the classic Alien Modules, I carefully pieced together a map of known space on paper. I also dutifully entered the Sector Generator BASIC program into my Apple II and spent endless hours trying to coax a decent map from a dot-matrix printer.

In early 2005, after a hiatus from Traveller of nearly 20 years, I purchased a copy of the GURPS Traveller rulebook, which includes a map of charted space within the frame of an imaginary computer-based map viewer. I first saw this within weeks of Google Maps appearing, and was inspired to create a functional version of the map viewer using contemporary Web technologies. I was also inspired by the many other online Traveller map resources and desktop applications such as Jim Vassilakos' venerable Galactic.

Starting in 2013, this site began hosting the official data files of the Traveller 5 Second Survey effort, as well as older published data and unofficial fan submissions.

Keyboard Controls

+ - Zoom in
- Zoom out
H - Home (default view)
I or - Scroll up (coreward)
J or - Scroll left (spinward)
K or - Scroll down (rimward)
L or - Scroll right (trailing)

How It Works

The map page is a Web application built using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The page uses script to request image tiles from the server. As the map is moved, more tiles are fetched from the server, filling in the edges of the map.

The server providing the map tiles is running Microsoft's IIS with a custom image generation service implemented in C# using ASP.NET and GDI+ (via PDFsharp) to render the tiles.

The full source code to the site - both client and server - is available on GitHub and is released under the Apache open source license.

The map data comes from two sources. The macro-scale data - comprising the governmental borders and rifts is based on classic publications such as the Imperium Map poster released by GDW in the early 1980s. The micro-scale data is derived from sector data in ".sec" format. Official data from the Traveller 5 Second Survey effort is used where available.

API

Most of the data that allows the site to function is exposed by various APIs over HTTP and can be used by other sites and applications. See the API Documentation for more details.

Design Notes

The aspect ratio of the map follows the Classic Traveller convention of hexagonal parsecs, so parsecs are cos(30°):1 rather than square. This means that the map on this site matches the Classic Traveller resources such as the Imperium Map, maps in the Alien Modules, the Spinward Marches and Solomani Rim modules, and hexagonal subsector maps. The maps may appear distorted when compared with square-based maps such as the Atlas of the Imperium or MegaTraveller-era publications.

When zoomed out to larger scales, the stars are rendered pseudo-randomly rather than trying to display the actual system data. This maintains the appearance of the Imperium Map poster. Rifts are simply left empty. At extremely large scales the structure of Milky Way galaxy is represented using an illustration by Robert Hurt (SSC), JPL-Caltech, NASA, circa 2005.

Easter Eggs

Copyright Information

The Traveller game in all forms is owned by Far Future Enterprises. Copyright © 1977 - 2014 Far Future Enterprises. Traveller is a registered trademark of Far Future Enterprises. Far Future permits web sites and fanzines for this game, provided it contains this notice, that Far Future is notified, and subject to a withdrawal of permission on 90 days notice. The contents of this site are for personal, non-commercial use only. Any use of Far Future Enterprises's copyrighted material or trademarks anywhere on this web site and its files should not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights or trademarks. In addition, any program/articles/file on this site cannot be republished or distributed without the consent of the author who contributed it.

GURPS Traveller is a registered trademark of Steve Jackson Games. All rights are reserved by Steve Jackson Games. Any use of Steve Jackson Games' copyrighted material or trademarks anywhere on this Web site and its files should not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights or trademarks. Any Steve Jackson Games material is used here in accordance with the Steve Jackson Games online policy and notification has been given to Steve Jackson Games in accordance with that policy.

Materials producted by Digest Group Publications (DGP) are copyright © Roger Sanger. Any use of Digest Group Publications' copyrighted material or trademarks anywhere on this Web site and its files should not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights. Usage is intended to follow the guidelines announced by Roger Sanger on the Traveller Mailing List for preserving the overall Traveller milieu.

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