Legacy Astrographic Data

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The Legacy Astrographic Data is the chaotic set of sector and subsector data sets that arose during the period of 1977 to 2008.

  • Classic Traveller didn't arise as a planned science fiction setting. It developed into one.

Traveller star maps have gone through three overlapping and very generalized time periods of development:

  1. Legacy Astrographic Data AKA [Initial Sectors (1977 to 2008)]
  2. Sunbane AKA [Generated Data (1985 to 1999)]
  3. T5 Second Survey AKA [Internet Era (1997 to Present)]

Please see the following AAB Library Data files for related information:

Description (Specifications)[edit]

The data for these sectors was originally generated by Joe Fugate and marked as copyright by both Digest Group Publications and Game Designers' Workshop. The Sunbane data appears to be an inexact recreation of the Atlas of the Imperium data.

In addition, analysis of the data has shown several problems.

  1. The number generator and generation algorithm were bad, producing a "needle stuck in a groove" effect.
  2. For example, in Delphi, 42 of the 346 (12%) worlds have UWP codes of "x10043x-x".
  3. Massilia had thirteen worlds with TL-16.

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

Traveller astrography is very difficult to document because it has had many overlapping periods about which even the direct eye witnesses and participants sometimes have profound disagreements. The legacy data is the interaction of the official publications, the work of the various Traveller licensees, and the fan works. Because these works fed into each other in various random ways, tracking the exact history of some of the data can be a difficult task. This author can only confess to having reviewed forty years of published materials, spoken with multiple former employees, authors, illustrators, and other participants and tried to piece the best history possible out of the mess. Long live, Traveller! [1]

Initial Sectors (1977 to 1984)[edit]

Rules for generation of astrographic data was included in Worlds and Adventures (1977), and could be used to generate map data (See TAS form 6, in the same book). The generation rules were expanded with the publication of Scouts (1983). There are several variations of system generation through each version of Traveller.

  1. In 1979 and 1981, the first full sector of data, including full maps, was published in The Spinward Marches (Supplement 3) (1979). And followed by The Solomani Rim (1981)
    1. There was no Charted Space when Classic Traveller first began.
    2. The Imperium board game (1977) is a precursor to the Imperium and it has a map. While it has a map, the data wasn't integrated into Classic Traveller until a later time.
    3. The Kinunir (1979) has a full hex map of Regina Subsector.
    4. Book 3 contains a blank star chart (TAS Form 6). Book 3 also has a full hex map.
    5. The Spinward Marches (1979) has a full sector with maps.
  2. In 1980, Library Data (A-M) (1980) has the first full map of charted space (pages 23-24), but with no world locations.
    1. The following sectors were designed by hand:
      1. Old Expanses Sector
      2. Reaver's Deep Sector
      3. Reft Sector
      4. Solomani Rim Sector
      5. Spinward Marches Sector
      6. Trojan Reach Sector
  3. In 1981, Judges Guild published (1981) four sectors: Ley Sector, Crucis Margin, Maranantha-Alkahest Sector, and Glimmerdrift Reaches which included 22"x34" maps and full data.
    1. Many early legacy publishers created a variety of settings, maps, and materials, some of which has never been officially placed within the OTU.
  4. In 1984, each of the Alien modules (Zhodani, K'kree, Vargr, Aslan, Solomani, Hiver) contained a more detailed map including sector names, but still without data. Vargr (Alien Module) (1984) published map and full data for the Gvurrdon sector.
  5. In 1984, Marc Miller (GDW) produced Atlas of the Imperium (AOTI) incorporating previous data plus computer generated data.
    1. The Atlas of the Imperium (1984) published maps for 35 sectors of the Imperium. These contains system locations, and a few system details. The data behind the AotI has never been published and is presumed lost.
  6. The only source of data was physically published works. In addition to the many works of Game Designers' Workshop, and the several licensees, there were several fanzines also publishing astrographic data. Access to data required knowledge of the publishers and purchase of the physical media.

GEnie Data[edit]

Digest Group Publications, a Traveller Licensee, with the publication of The Travellers' Digest (1985) magazine generated several sectors of data, reverse engineering the AotI maps to some success.

  1. Their generated data for the 35 sectors of the Imperium was published in The Travellers' Digest, MegaTraveller Journal, and the other DGP works.
  2. Joe Fugate uploaded the sector files to the GEnie online service in 1989. This data is know also as the GEnie data for that reason.
  3. All of the sector data published in Travellers' Digest and MegaTraveller Journal 03 use this data. The data was used as the basis for the dot maps in Solomani & Aslan and Vilani & Vargr.
  4. In 1990 and 1991, Vilani & Vargr (1990) and Solomani & Aslan (1991) include detailed dot maps, showing the location of star systems across most of the charted space map. Other than the GEnie Sectors, this data was never released. Fans have reverse-engineered this data.

History of the Imperium Working Group[edit]

The History of the Imperium Working Group, founded in 1987 with the publication of MegaTraveller, had the explicit goal to document the future history of the Third Imperium.

  1. HIWG divided charted space into four quadrants, and several smaller sections. These sections were claimed by members of HIWG for development and detailing.
  2. This data was widely shared by CD-ROM and snail mail meaning that there are many, many variations of it within the greater community.
  3. When the GEnie data was published, HIWG members updated and added to many of these sectors. They added names and stellar data to most of the data (missing in the original), and expanded upon the original 35 sectors.
  4. During it's history, HIWG members add data for more than 100 sectors, expanding on the initial 35 sectors. It is the largest addition of sector data in the history of Traveller. The hard work of the HIWG to enhance and extend the data has been a true credit to the community.
  5. In addition to expanding the original GEnie data, the members also reverse engineered and generated data for most of the sectors published in V&V and S&A.
  6. The GEnie and HIWG expanded data continues to be used widely by Traveller fans for their projects. The Hinterworlds Sector article in Challenge 39 used the data as its starting point. The data for the Gateway Domain sectors was used as the starting point for Gateway to Destiny. It served as the basis for the T5 Second Survey.
  7. The data, as updated by HIWG, is distributed with Galactic and Heaven & Earth, two of the most popular Traveller mapping programs. It forms the basis for numerous online maps. Many of the files at the Zhodani Base web site use the data.

Internet Era[edit]

From the late 1980's to the early 1990s, access to data during required knowledge of the pre-web internet, including subscribing to the TML or other mailing lists, knowledge of various FTP sites, and being a member of online services like CompuServe or GEnie. Most people still had access to data only via the published works.

  1. In the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, additional variations on the maps occurred from the MT, TNE, and T4 settings. Some of these changes were chronological ones and others actually changed star positions, world names, or more significant astrophysical adjustments.
  2. The different versions of the data eventually ended up on Sunbane and other servers (Missouri Archive, Core, etc.) It also ended up on numerous internet fan sites including the Interactive Atlas of the Imperium, Map of Traveller Charted Space, TravellerMap, and others.
  3. As it was posted on various sites, more variation occurred including a great deal from the Zhodani Base, which still thankfully hosts Galactic files.
  4. As the various Traveller publishers during this era would publish books, the data would be transcribed into various online forms and re-distributed. Some of the changes and variations created significantly different maps.
  5. From around 2001 to around 2016, there were several additional projects such as Clifford Linehan's Core Route project, generating data and publishing it online.
  6. In the 1990s, there were two main software programs used for viewing, generating, and manipulation the astrographic data: Galactic (1996) and Heaven & Earth (1999). These programs are distributed with the HIWG updated sector data along with several published data sets (TNE, T4) and fan generated projects. Different releases of the programs have different version of data depending upon what was available to the developers at the time.

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

This list of sources was used by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team and individual contributors to compose this article. Copyrighted material is used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author. The page history lists all of the contributions.
  1. An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak