Far Frontiers! Borders! And more!

I've been working on a bunch of different pieces, some of which are "close enough" to roll out, others need additional work. But I need to get things out for users to try out and comment on, so here's an intermediate step.

Far Frontiers Sector

Before FASA lost its license to publish Traveller material, Dale Kemper was working on a manuscript for a supplement for the Far Frontiers, the setting for most of the FASA adventures like the Sky Raiders trilogy, Ordeal by Eshaar, etc. Didn't know that's where they took place? That's 'cause the supplement never came out! Parts were published in Ares magazine and somewhat more in the Traveller Chronicle, but those are hard to come by.

Dale has recently started selling copies of the manuscript on eBay (seller id: sbgames999) and I picked one up. Nice stuff, and it’s a shame it never saw the light of day. I asked Dale if I could include his Far Frontiers work in the map site, and he agreed!

(Note: Dale's manuscript covers just the lower half of the sector - the top half is mostly Zhodani space. For now I’ve just left the top half of the sector empty. Also note that the data is slightly inconsistent with other publications – Traveller Chronicle, Trail of the Sky Raiders, etc. – I’ve left it as close to Dale’s original manuscript as possible, rather than incorporating other sources or corrections. Those may come later.)


At long last (and thanks to pioneering work by J Greely over at http://dotclue.org/t20) accurate micro-scale borders are starting to see the light of day! Zoom in to 16 pixels/parsec or lower and the hand-drawn borders will disappear and (if you’re in the right place, e.g. near the Domain of Deneb or Gateway Domain) you’ll see hex-level borders. Yay!

Now for the down sides:

  • The border generation is not complete. Although J Greely’s allygen is an amazing tool, it does only a single sector. Rather than modifying it to handle multiple sectors I’ve been adding outsector hex runs by hand. (And if that sentence made sense to you, please volunteer to help!) So it’s been slow – about 20 minutes per sector.
  • Most of my resources are in storage – all of the DGP Travellers’ Digest issues I paid far too much for on eBay and classic sources are unavailable to me right now, so I have to go on guesswork and automated border generation.

But worst of all: the map is now a hideous amalgam of different eras:

  • Some of the data files are Rebellion-era (1120 or so)
  • Some of the data files are Classic-era (1100)
  • Some of the data files are Gateway-era (M1000)
  • Routes are whatever I could find, so mostly a mix of CT and RT
  • Borders are based off of the data for the sector at hand

Data files from different eras aren’t immediately obvious – you have to drill in and notice that the Vargr really made a dent in Deneb but hardly touched Corridor! Even Routes are usually not obvious, unless there’s a gap. But mismatching borders stick out like sore thumbs. Bleah.


Someone on COTI mentioned that he stitched together the tiles for the whole Spinward Marches by doing screenshots of the site. Ouch! To prevent that necessity in the future, you can now ask for a render of a sector in one shot. Just do:


You’ll get a GIF of the whole thing at 64 pixels/parsec resolution. Change the sector name (replace spaces with %20 or +) or tack on &options=nnnn – use a permalink in the main map to figure out the combination you like. I like 833, which turns off the subsector names.

Other changes

  • Added xboat routes for the Corridor sector from the map in FFE04 The Short Adventures - the Memory Alpha adventure reconstruction includes the routes on a hex grid of the sector (circa 1111), in addition to the Atlas of the Imperium sector copy - w00t! The Imperial xboat network now actually connects the Spinward Marches to the core!
  • Since I was dorking around with Corridor, I used the data from FFE04 to "regress" the sector to the classic era. This makes the borders mismatch (especially with Deneb) but my goal for the map is Classic Era (or Second Survey) so I actually want the DoD connected!
  • In Firefox/Safari/Opera, when dragging the map, you can now drag with the mouse over the non-map parts of the page and the mouse won't freeze. Just stay inside the page itself - there appears to a bug (feature?) afflicting all W3C event model browsers such that they stop giving you mouse events outside the page, if you started the drag over an image.
  • I moved the Map Style options to the top, and slightly compressed the control options, to give more room for search results.