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! 


1 comment:

agorski said...

An epic resource. Thanks for everything you've done on this.