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Roshanara Rahman

Google Maps-like Star Trek map

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So I shared this on chat and folks really liked it, so I thought I'd share it here, too. I found this website/personal project some Trekkie made of trying to create an online Star Trek map, taking into account the Star Charts book and other sources. You can explore it here:

http://startrekmap.com/

It has location search, zoom and pan like Google Maps, and some other neat features all packaged in a LCARS interface.

It also makes me want to someday have us create our own Google Maps-like feature where we can show the Star Trek universe as simmed in the StarBase 118 universe (for instance, there is a Starbase 118 on the startrekmap.com but it's in a difference place from where we put our venerable station. I've seen other fictional maps that use the Google Maps presentation style such as:

https://quartermaester.info/

https://towerofthehand.com/maps/westeros.html

http://lotrproject.com/map/

But I have no idea how to do anything like that. Does anyone have any technical skill or knowledge about this?

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This is beyond coincidence. Just the past few days, I have been thinking about wanting to create a unified map for SB118 to use on the wiki, instead of pieces of images spread all over, and not always in sync. For example, Starbase 118 may be in the position we have established in the main map, but if you go to another map, say of the Tyrellian region, the image has not been edited to include SB118, instead having the original starbase from the Star Charts. 

What I want to do is create something interactive. Years ago, that would have been done in Flash, but it is being phased out in favor of HTML5. I'm not sure yet how to go about doing something like that.

Google maps API is a good start, but for the idea in my head, it's too limited (and slow!). For example, click on a star, and it zooms in so you can see the system and individual planets. Click on a planet and it pops up detailed info, and/or links to the wiki page. Show ownership overlays like Fed/Rom/Klingon. Stuff like that.

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I love map making! I accurately charted the stars within a 100 light year radius of Earth to scale for a science project once. I make 2D and 3D maps, but I’ve never made anything interactive and they’re not pretty (B&W, designed primarily for reference data). I would love to help with making something astronomically realistic when (not if) we start on this. 

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So doing some research, there are two ways to do this. I can use Adobe Animate CC to create a fully original, knock-your-socks-off multimedia experience. Except it costs $10/mo to use because Adobe is evil.

The other option, which is still pretty cool, is to use Leaflet. It is an open-source API with similar functionality to google maps, but being open-source, has much more customization with plugins. Plus, Google Maps is intended for real-world maps, not fictional ones. You can see some examples here. Some of the things you can do is draw polygons on a layer, for things like empire borders. Custom icons instead of the plain google mark arrow. Play video. 

The hardest part will be creating the base map.  I can vectorize the Star Charts image we use, and edit it to SB118 canon. It will take me some time, but I should be able to do it. 

I came across some PDFs of really neat and detailed maps, but they are unfortunately password-protected, meaning I can't edit them.

Thoughts?

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I'm still debating a static drawing custom-made in Illustrator (which I've already started), or something more dynamic and easier to community-edit, such as the aforementioned Leaflet. This would require adding javascript and CSS files, then refer to those inside a wiki edit box. I have no idea how to do that on our wiki.

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