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Another T5SS Data Drop: many new sectors In Review

The Vargr Extents and Julian Protectorate get some love in the latest T5SS data drop, with the following sectors newly "in review":
Also, way off on the Spinward edge of charted space, Group One's Theta Borealis – the last of the GDW "land grant" sectors – is now in review.

Some data corrections elsewhere as well. As always, check the sector data history on GitHub for the gruesome details, and provide feedback on the data on COTI.


T5SS Review Update: Far Frontiers!

My favorite sector, Far Frontiers, has started review by the T5SS!

The sector is the home of the FASA adventures such as the Sky Raiders trilogy. The Jungleblut subsector was detailed in Trail of the Sky Raiders. The Alsas subsector was detailed by Bill Fawcett in "Privateer", an article in Gameplay magazine. Dale Kemper produced a manuscript including these details and fleshing out the rest of the rimward half of the sector as a manuscript intended for publication by FASA, but it didn't make it to print before FASA ended support for Traveller. It was later published (with minor changes) in ARES Magazine Special Edition #2, and republished in The Traveller Chronicle, issues 2 through 4.

The sector is called Afachtiabr by the Zhodani who dominate the coreward half, which was detailed by James "GypsyComet" Kundert and published in The Traveller Chronicle, issues 5 through 8.

Art Gorski has put together a comprehensive list of references to the Far Frontiers sector over at RPGGeek. The biggest change in the T5SS version from earlier visits to the sector is that the Zhodani's Colonnade Administrative District is now known as the Colonnade Province of the Zhodani Consulate. This region extends into the neighboring Beyond sector, also in review by the T5SS.

Issues and feedback appreciated here, or on COTI.



Search by Label

Search results now include things that would show up as labels on the map - usually the names of polities but a few things like J-4 and J-5 routes across rifts.

As always, feedback appreciated!


SFロールプレイング・ゲーム トラベラー



Route Finding

How long does it take to get from Regina (SPIN 1910) to Woochiers (SPIN 2207) at Jump-1? A long, long time:

I've added a route finding feature. Hit the route button to the right of the search box.
  • Start/end location can be entered as Sector Hex, e.g. Spinward Marches 1910
    • T5SS sector abbreviations are okay: SPIN 1910 works too
  • Otherwise, the map uses the nearest matching world name. So you can plug in Regina and Woochiers (but it might get confused if there are duplicate world names)
  • Not usable on mobile-sized screens yet
  • Can't click/tap to set locations
  • Can't filter route (e.g. only wilderness refueling, no red zones, prefer Im)
But even given that, it's still fun. Here's Regina to Terra at J-4:

And at J-5:

Route Finding Wish List on the Traveller Map Trello Board

API documentation is up: http://travellermap.com/doc/api#route

I also fixed some routing bugs in Path Finder but that utility is now considered deprecated and no longer linked from the main page. I'll keep it around as it allows route calculations in custom sectors, but it probably won't get more love.

And congratulations to Mongoose Publishing on the new edition of Traveller! Ω


PSA: Hardcopy references offline for a few weeks

We (my family, not the royal "we", and certainly not the vast megacorp behind the site) are moving in a few weeks. I just finished packing up my Traveller hardcopies into boxes for the move. This will limit my ability to double-check things for the rare documents I have that aren't available in digital form.

Service of the site should not be disrupted in any way since I don't host it myself and will have 'net access the entire time.

See y'all on the flip side.




10 Years Ago...

Ten years ago today, back when dinosaurs roamed the Internet, I made a post to the Traveller Mailing List announcing an online interactive map of the Official Traveller Universe:

I popped by http://jtas.net/travelleratlas/ and thought "cool!" at first, then realized that most of the maps had been generated by hand. Aaaaaaah! That just makes my teeth hurt with sympathy pain. Also, Google Maps had just gone beta, and I found a copy of GURPS Traveller at Half Price Books (which features the Imperium Map in a "console" frame) to I created a conceptual blend of all of the above: 
I've tested in IE6 and Firefox (so it should work with the latest Netscape/Mozilla browsers). Click and drag in the map, zoom in, go wild. You'll need a decent 'net connection. Note that it's generating all of the tile images on the fly, so I hope it can relieve some of the tedium of maintaining projects like the one at jtas.net. 
(If you're curious, it's a tiny C# ASP.NET app with less than 1400 lines of code. There's a "readme" on the site with other details. And yes, I've fired off the requisite mail to Marc.)

At that point I didn't even have a domain registered, but the site was functional enough to invite others to take a look. As I've written before, I was inspired by this mockup in GURPS Traveller:

Of course, it was also inspired by Google Maps, which hit the 'net in February 2005 - a mere two months earlier! I really should have kept photos of the earlier versions of my site... but it turns out that you can still run old versions via the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. Here's how it looked circa 2006:

At one point I even made sure the site worked under Netscape 7.2 running on Windows 98 (via a virtual machine):

Nowadays, here's how I like to surf it:

Thanks to all who have contributed in any way, with code, data, suggestions, bug reports, or positive feedback.

Anyway, 10 years. Wooooo! 



Route Rendering

(Disclaimer: not an April Fool's joke)

I made a slight tweak to the way routes are rendered.



Look closely at how the routes intersect the world disc. Previously they came extremely close. So close, in fact, that they actually are drawn first - right to the center of the world! Then the world is rendered by painting over the routes with the background color, then the world itself renders. Now, the routes are rendered with the endpoints offset slightly from the world. Which is closer to how a human would draw the routes, and matches classic work like posters and LBBs.

I made the change to improve the rendering when a background was present, like these cases:



Note how in "old" the routes intersect the world, whereas in "new" the routes don't. This was never a big deal, but I'm experimenting with rendering styles where backgrounds are more important.

I don't normally announce such subtle tweaks in rendering, so why even bring this up? 

There may be places in the data where routes actually go right through other worlds. Here's an example in Deneb:

If you look at Unxava, Sorel, or Ibsen you can see that the route doesn't stop at those worlds. Previously, the painting over with the background color would have meant the route line and the world disc would never touch. You also wouldn't have been able to tell if the X-boat route from Dawn to Zeng was one J-4 or four J-1s. This new way of rendering distinguishes the two cases, although it doesn't look quite as pretty.

(Aside: hand-curated sectors like the Spinward Marches would avoid putting a route across other worlds like this, because a key factor in creating X-boat routes is looking good. The routes exist primarily to add visual interest to the maps, rather than convey important data. The notion of communication routes impacting gameplay by allowing players to "race the news" was a later innovation.)

There may be cases where a route should be broken up. When transcribing routes from print I may have made incorrect assumptions. If you spot any such anomalies, please let me know.



T5SS Data Drop - March 2015

DonM sent out a new T5SS data drop, adding Spica to the set of "in reviewed" sectors, and graduating the Aslan sectors like Riftspan Reaches, Ealiyasiyw and Dark Nebula out of review to "official".

Other tidbits from the drop:
  • Hive Federation now has T5SS allegiance code: HvFd
  • Embassies have have base code E
  • Base code X, previously reserved for Zhodani Relay Station, is slated to be replaced by W, which will indicate any Way Station, not just an Imperial Scout Way Station. That's not entirely reflected in the data yet.



Data Overview 2015

"Happy New Year!" - and you thought I'd forgotten. Past Overviews

What was new in 2014?
Otherwise... a quiet year.