BattleTechWiki talk:System coordinates

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Role of Coordinates in Planetary Article Overhaul[edit]

Strongly disagree about cutting out the co-ordinates! "Too much work" is hardly an argument to leave out BattleTech-specific data such as this. I'd even say presenting the correct coordinates with conclusive references would be a possible reason to go to SarnaBTW for users, given the convoluted mess of maps found in the old FASA products. Reliability questionable? That's a challenge, not an argument for turning away from providing the data. As for it having little value, I disagree on that point too as the exact coordinates may be important to draw up jump routes.
The Infobox Star System should only appear one single time per article because the article covers exactly one single system. If it has multiple suns then the Infobox should be filled out with several entries in each section (one for each sun).
Inhabited planets is not good, as it is bound to frequently change. Simply go for number of planets.
Infobox Planets should contain highest lifeform, but not percentage as percentage, too, changes over time. (Could be coverd in the text instead; I also suggest a listing of known native species for planets linking to their respective articles.) Frabby 20:58, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Okay, I'm okay with building a coordinates entry as an optional/conditional, but those definitely need to be cited when they get added. As discussed elsewhere, the canon ones often contradict themselves and the printed maps, the maps that Oystein makes don't use exactly those apparently and he hasn't released what he does use, and when interpolated by a fan's computer plotting project, found some "in the ballpark" to be off by one or two lightyears. We cannot (stressed) use the ISCS as a source, meta or otherwise...all the coordinates must come from canon sources, if we're going to be doing these right this time, so that we're not incorporating our errors on top of that project's mistakes. That means the ones used right now, both uncited and cited to ISCS, must be disregarded, until checked against the books. That, of course, also means a number of planets added since the Housebooks (and some Clan sourcebooks, I believe) won't have jumppoints at all.
As for value, how often have you used the coordinates of a planet to either locate it or generate a jumppath? I personally use a Heavy Metal pre-beta program, but I know others use the ISCS and now Bad_Syntax's Cartographer program. I've never come here, since I know how doubtful they are and since there were far easier ways to gen up a path.
Adding coordinates should be its own phase, so that we can maintain positive control on sources (too many easy and unreliable sources out there). By leaving the conditional entry in there, it won't be too difficult at all to add them in with their citations. What might work best, administration-wise, is to have a side-project that works parallel to the overhaul project, creating either a spreadsheet or text file with the planets listed alphabetically, followed by coordinates and attached reference code. When it was compiled, both teams (where not already overlapped) could grab chuncks of this canon database and plug them into the future embedded system templates. Would you be interested in setting up/helming that project?
InfoboxSystem in regards to multiple stars: got it. Making the change. Same with inhabiteds and lifeforms. I think the 'listing' of species would best be incorporated freehand into existing sections, rather than creating/dedicating a section for something that will be bare for most planet entries.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 21:40, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Okay, understand your busy for a while, Frabby, but did a little more checking with Bad_Syntax regarding his interpolation method. He uses Adobe Illustrator (open source alternate: Inkscape) and opens the PDF to the map he's reviewing. Some of this is speculation on my part, but from what I understand, he clicks on the system's dot and records its position on the map and then, relative to Terra, has a very precise coordinate location:
Bad_Syntax, 02August2011, private message: I went through the complete 3075 map in illustrator, clicked on each planet, and wrote down its 3 decimal place pixel coordinate to the application. IIRC each pixel was 1 LY, so that is far more accurate than the only printed coordinates out of the original house books. Since that time I have actually gone through every printed map, and wrote down which major faction owned that system for every single era, a total of over 40K entries. However, a few hundred planets didn't appear on any map of the entire inner sphere, so they aren't as accurate *yet*.
Bad_Syntax, 02August2011, private message: But you can use the numbers all you want, again the 3075 coordinates are pretty darned accurate.
Bad_Syntax, 03August2011, private message, when asked how many maps he used to make (and verify) his coordinates database: I mean *every* map ever printed, though I only got ones with entire factions viewable, and ignored any factions that were not entirely viewable.
Bad_Syntax, 03August2011, private message, to highlight his comparison of Housebook coordinates to the map ones: ...they really abandoned the coordinates, I'm 100% sure of that else planets wouldn't be missing, moved around, or all sorts of other nonsense. The original 3025 coordinates had many (dozens) of systems in the wrong locations, and HUNDREDS of systems that aren't even on them.
Bad_Syntax, 03August2011, private message: ...I've added a lot of new systems, accurate to .0278 LY. I still have a couple hundred davion and periphery systems I haven't added yet...
Bad_Syntax, 03August2011, private message: To get the 3075 coordinates I opened that map in Adobe Illustrator, the application that made it. I then manually clicked on EVERY little planet circle, and wrote down its coordinates (which are accurate to .001 points). It is more canon of coordinate than anything else ever made, period. Very soon I'll take those coordinates, add all the new systems from the various handbooks, and I'll have accurate coordinates for everything but the Clan worlds, Hanseatic League, Nueva Castile, and the deep perphery, none of which have anything close to accurate data yet.
Bad_Syntax, 04August2011, private message: War of Reaving helped a *LOT*. Not only was I able to get coordinates for all the clan worlds, but also the HL, NC, deep periphery, AND Jarnfolk worlds! I had to do some creating scaling, and it was all due to Alfirk being on the JF map, which I was able to overlay and match almost exactly. All my coordinates are well under .05 LY off from any map, and many of them a LOT less than that so my data is *very* accurate. Once I get these coordinates set I'll email you a copy.
I've brought all these quotes over to demonstrate two things: 1) the questionable value of canon numerical coordinates when compared to the superior (as in the 'more recent' context) locations provided by the maps, & 2) the availability of meta-coordinates derived from the numerous maps. If we value the individual coordinates as information for the individual reader (vice databases used not by Sarna but graphing applications), then let's provide the more valuable coordinates. Any body can put coordinates they get from this project Bad_Syntax has nearly completed and put them into any CBT-mapping program and spreadsheet and get a stellar map based upon the maps now being seen from CGL or they can get the ones printed almost 23 & 24 years ago and get maps somewhat representative, but with systems out-of-place or missing.
My proposal remains doing away with coordinates on Sarna. My compromise would be to include them, but give this Bad_Syntax database of canon map locations a serious & critical look, see if his results are duplicatable (especially valuable when adding on worlds later on ourselves) and then consider a 'waiver' policy where we acknowledge the actual figures are not official, should not be confused with the older, printed coordinates of the late 1980s, but provide figures that are accurate in depicting canon locations and deriviative answers (such as jump paths). I just don't feel it is worth the effort to stick with a coordinate database (the Housebooks') that even TPTB don't use, as they don't consider them reliable enough to depend on for modern graphic maps.--Rev (talk|contribs) 20:09, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
Having read through this, I think there are two different aspects to the idea of putting the co-ordinates detail on the wiki. On the one hand, you've got acknowledgement of the historical record - "this is what FASA said were the co-ordinates of the planet" - and on the other, you've got functionality - "these are the co-ordinates that are actually useable for doing/calculating anything." I think that if the co-ordinates from the original House books are going to be kept, then they should be put in the Notes section for an entry, rather than actually being flagged up in a "co-ordinates" section. They have a certain historical value, but not a functional value in a lot of cases, and by keeping them in the notes section it would be possible to acknowledge their place in the history of BattleTech while making it pretty explicit that trying to use them is a mugs game. BrokenMnemonic 06:32, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
That's a good way at looking at it. Frabby?--Rev (talk|contribs) 13:38, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
On a semi-related note, would it be helpful organizationally to get Bad_Syntax's info in a table on the wiki so we can see the system name, coordinates, and status. Sort of like what I did for the MWDA Dossier project. (The advantage of the table is that it could be updated as an editor makes changes, which may not be true of a spreadsheet/text file.) And yes, since it's my brilliant idea, I'm willing to be the lucky fellow who creates the table.--Mbear 17:03, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Hy Mbear, very good idea, can you show us a example, thanks.--Doneve 17:12, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Absolutely, Mbear. He's gonna send me the database when its available (hopefully before Handbook: House Draconis) and I'll send it to you. But, isn't there some software out there that will wikify data? I could have sworn I used some many moons ago. (M-O-O-N...that spells wikify.) Here's a preview of it. Go down to the "Monday, January 31, 2011" entry. You'll see the Cartographer link in that entry. The database is in a text file in the program's data folder.--Rev (talk|contribs) 18:15, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
No disrespect intended, but I think you guys took a wrong turn early on: Artwork is lowest, or least reliable, level of canon; printed data trumps graphical artwork 100% of the time. And we do have printed coordinates for the vast majority of all systems in the back of the original housebooks (unfortunately omitted in the free PDF scans downloadable from the CGL site). That's around 95% of all systems right there.
A number of new systems, deep periphery systems and the Clan worlds can only be guessed at through extrapolating their position from maps where neighbouring systems have known canonical data - essentially what Bad_Syntax is doing. But this is data that is 1) extrapolated by a fan contributor with 2) a margin of error from 3) an inherently unreliable source. Don't treat it as fully canonical; treat it as an approximation and explain the process used in a footnote. I have noticed in the past that some maps are grossly inaccurate (the map in the novel The Hunters misplaces the Multan system by over 60 lightyears, and many early maps from the first Periphery sourcebook place systems significantly different from later sources).
So ultimately, what I'm saying is that system coordinates will invariably require a footnote reference. In most cases this will be a page in the back of a Housebook. In some cases it will have to be the admission that the location is an estimation, extrapolated from the map on page X of product Y. In the case of Columbus, we don't have exact X and Y coordinates but an exact distance from Terra which helps triangulate its position. There's also the apocryphal Atlas der Inneren Sphäre This will enable interested users to double-check and perhaps provide a better/more accurate source. Lots of possible sources, you just need to reference the coordinates given correctly with the best source available. Frabby 18:30, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
The problem with the printed coordinates are that no one relies on them. The CGL PTB have distanced themselves from those Housebook coordinates, due to errors in them, and it would be a mistake to build a reliable project upon data that the current (and more numerous) maps are not based upon. In other words, the coordinates themselves are no longer canon, but apocryphal, as are those in Atlas der Inneren Sphäre. They aren't used nor officially acknowledged and if someone wants to develop jumppaths, they're gonna most likely do it from the existing maps, using the distance scales provided in each map.
Yes, text trumps artwork (and is in turn trumped by rules), but in the absence of canon printed figures (and even the Housebook figures are inaccessible to a large number of potential team members), maps are acceptable. And, for the most part, the maps have been consistent under CGL's aegis, as stated by Bad_Syntax. The coordinates he has derived from the maps provide reasonable accuracy and I would state are "suitable for plotting jump routes". While I believe that the interpolated coordinates are the most precise written coordinates we could possibly come up with (outside of exact figures that CGL prefers not to disclose), there will be some who either don't understand the process used to get the figures or dismiss them as invalid, because of their meta-source.
Now, I think we all agree we want to create a standard where the articles are much more reliable than they are at present. So, I see we have two avenues: come up with a standard (a policy, in effect) where we (as BTW) support one source over all others (be it the formerly canon but official coordinates or interpolated from the 'modern' maps) or leave the infobox field for coordinates blank during the overhaul process and allow editors outside the scope of the overhaul to add them as they choose to, supported by their own citable references.
I, for one, prefer the latter. There is no disagreement that BTW is on the "wrong path" if we choose to leave it up to those editors interested in filling in missing information on their own, plus it allows the minor number of dedicated team members to focus on the greater value of improving the overall articles, rather than spend time checking and re-checking the values entered for only one, very minor aspect of the article. In the absence of consensus on this, we will, by default, take this route, since it does not commit us to any permanent policy.--Rev (talk|contribs) 19:27, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
I wasn't aware of TPTB declaring the original Housebook data apocryphal wholesale - can you cite a reference? Even of a few individual systems had wrong coordinates given (and assuming those mistakes were corrected since, which would not constitute a retcon), I reckon the bulk of them is still valid and thus a good basis to work from.
That said, I do agree with your proposed modus operandi. What is important to me is that coordinates aren't omitted and I think we are now beyond that point. Frabby 21:01, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
I will work on finding the thread that led to that understanding; it's most likely on the archived forum. As the search function is so very lacking on CBT's forums, I may spark a conversation on the current forum. In any case, it does need to be cited if I'm to use it against the Housebook coords. I may disagree with your supposition, however, that even the ones that are not considered in error (if I recall correctly, they never indicated which ones were considered 'bad') are still valid, if they don't match up with relative locations on the current maps. I'll look into that and get back to you (as an intellectual pursuit).--Rev (talk|contribs) 22:37, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
"I haven't used coordinates for my maps since the very first one that was created. Everything has been done graphically. Every coordinate list published has been quite faulty unfortunately so I've avoided making any."--Øystein, 27 May, 2008, 23:51:47 pm [1]
"My internal file I got from FASA/Brian about it says they should be 1500ish LY from Terra, but the map might not be fully accurately made (the coordinates in the book for the worlds are all wrong tho)."--Øystein, 30 Jul, 2008, 12:49:22 pm [2]
Now, his comments (roughly two months apart) indicate that he does not use coordinates to create his maps (the one in the second comment is regarding a file/map he inherited from FASA, but one he distrusts. A safe presumption is that he works off a master map, as Bad_Syntax reports that once scales are matched (the official maps' scale change to fit the target region on a page with the largest view possible) in Adobe Illustrator, the planets line up. These comments from CGL's Cartographer tell me the coordinates as printed are apocryphal & are not in use; Bad-Syntax' coordinate determination method is the closest original research possible to accurately account for the locations of all planets (including the hundreds without official coordinates), as well as the only way (short of using a ruler on printed maps) of actually establishing jump routes between the worlds as they have been depicted since FanPro picked up the ball. At the least, anyone who cites the housebook coordinates in the articles, should also denote their use is apocryphal. Now I think we really should either choose a policy (elaborately spelled out) of going with Bad_Syntax' method or leave coordinates out of it all together. My compromise (for consensus) is to leave empty fields, but that would allow imprecise figures to creep in (as some people would use the apocryphal figures, not realizing their non-canon status). To be honest, I have to question the use of coordinates at all, in the absence of a policy one way or another.--Rev (talk|contribs) 01:52, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
Okay, I did "Ask the Lead Developers" and Øystein explicitly confirmed what you wrote. Looks like I had my facts wrong; thanks for pointing this out to me. Based on his official verdict, I surmise:
1) System coordinates still exist as a concept and therefore they remain a viable data entry in the sidebar/infobox;
2) they aren't the primary way of tracking system locations, however. Instead, maps take precedence and extrapolating X/Y coordinates from canonical maps (like Bad_Syntax did) is the preferred method of establishing coordinates. The old published coordinates might still be useful as a reference to ascertain wheter or not the extrapolated coordinates are correct.
My suggestion on how to proceed: Create a page about System coordinates to explain the situation in detail. Link to that page via the InfoBox entry. Cite references/sources for each pair of coordinates given in the system article as outlined above. Frabby 21:05, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm very glad you asked the question. The quotes I provided above are not nearly as clear on the issue as what you uncovered. Thanks.
A) I agree we should start such a page, but I recommend it go on the BTW namespace, rather than the mainspace. I'll capture Øystein's exact quotes from your conversation (as a hedge against losing it in the next forum loss) and I've informed Bad_Syntax that I'll be asking some rather pointed questions regarding his method, so that people may verify his results.
B) How's this for nit-picky:
to infer (an unknown) from something that is known; conjecture or an estimation of a value based on extending a known sequence of values or facts beyond the area that is certainly known
to guess at a value from two known values or an estimation of a value within two known values in a sequence of values.
My point is we should agree on a term to use (to the exclusion of the other). I have trouble seeing the difference between the two (as in regards to our issue here). The first part of 'extrapolate' ("to infer (an unknown) from something that is known") seems to be the decider for me.
C) I think it'd be very do-able to create a very short template that functions similarly to {{cn}}, using it to cite the coordinates. The template would redirect to the system coordination policy page.
I'm pleased that we've come to a concrete solution (to what I thought was going to be hard problem). Good job, Frabby.--Rev (talk|contribs) 21:38, 12 August 2011 (UTC)


This is what we need, thanks for stard the essay, and bring the subject Extrapolated up to our little^^ planet overhaul project.--Doneve 18:10, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Extrapolation tag[edit]

Along with this essay, I've created a network of tags and redirects to point to this essay. As the overhaul commences and new coordinates are provided, the {{e}} tag should be affixed immediately following the Y coordinate. Check out the coordinates on the Sarna article, to see it in action.--Rev (talk|contribs) 20:40, 13 August 2011 (UTC)


If you guys need to verify the math in Bad_Syntax's method (transferring the localized coordinates to match the full map coordinates) just let me know, I was the one who made the formulas that Syntax used in his spreadsheet so that we could get a unified scale for all the maps based off his original 3075 data. --Volt 15:22, 5 October 2011 (UTC)

Great, involve in our BattleTechWiki:Project Planets project, you are welcome, iam also interrested on your planet faction file. can you give us a link, thanks a lot, i follow your treats on the CBTForum, sorry for raw writing, best wishes from germany.--Doneve 15:38, 5 October 2011 (UTC)
Hey Doneve, the link to my file is here I still have a lot of blanks there that Fluff should be able to fill up but I haven't had time to read the handbooks. The second TAB is the list of Facions and their RGB color. If you want to view the data on Syntax's Cartographer, copy the SYSTEMS B3:AG3007 into a Planets.txt file and FACTIONS A1:F87 into a Factions.txt file.
If you notice the coordinates of about 29% of all the entries are different from Syntax's original list. That's because I've been able to refine my formula since then, and I'll be working on verifying the remaining 71% in the coming days/weeks(months?). I've just determined that on the 3075 map (where all coordinates are referenced to) the scale of 1 LY is approximately 0.698 pixels X and 0.699 pixels Y. If anyone can independently verify the scale I'd really appreciate it. --Volt 03:05, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Hey Volt, I've been independently taking the numbers from Bad_syntax and generating lists of distances between systems. I've already crunched ~20% of all systems, sticking mostly in the Periphery and Deep Periphery (I'm avoiding systems near the DC, since Handbook: Draconis Combine has not yet been published). How far off are the numbers (are they universally off - I'm afraid the answer will be yes and I'll feel compelled to start from scratch)? If you need any help with confirmation, I have a Mac and Excel2008 - if these are useful please let me know.--S.gage 06:33, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
Great Volt, thanks for the file :).--Doneve 08:28, 7 October 2011 (UTC)
@S.Gage: for the most part the data from Syntax are accurate up to 0.1 to 0.01 after I updated the formula. I've done multiple trials while validating the output of the formulas so I'm pretty confident the numbers I have are correct. Not so say that Syntax's data is wrong, mine are just a more refined version of his (brown sugar vs white sugar, diesel vs petrol). 99.5% of the work was his so I am no way discrediting his work. I'm going to start working on the 3075 coordinates in a bit, I'll just upload my formula on mediafire so you guys can look into it as well. It's in xlsx format so it should be no problem.
I recently encountered a minor error with my methodology in getting the LY/pixel scale for the 3075 map. The X scale is still 0.698LY/pixel but instead of using 0.699 scale on Y, I just uniformly scaled it so that the images derived from the coordinates would be more faithful to the map.
@Doneve: you're very welcome. Let me know if you need anything else that I might be able to provide, and let me know if and when you find errors/conflicts in that file against Fluff or existing maps. I forgot to put comments on my entries so I'm probably going be answering questions from memory.
Also, Kwic from the CBT forums dropped me a message offering his help with fact checking, so if any of you know him I guess we could collaborate. I sent him a link to my spreadsheet as well. --Volt 08:46, 7 October 2011 (UTC)

Coordinates issue[edit]

Ok guys, I just got word from Oystein that the sourcebook maps are not a viable source of coordinates because of the scaling issue between the X and Y axes. He mentions that all maps come from the same source (and comparing the 120LY ruler between maps confirms this). The problem comes with the non-uniform scaling of the maps to fit the sourcebook page format. It appears that the various maps are stretched vertically independent of the X-axis so using one map as base (in our case Bad_Syntax used the 2-page 3075 IS map) leads to incorrect Y values. I will be migrating to using the 3130 map (as Oystein said that the only viable source would be "stand-alone" maps, for which the 3130 map is). So it would be best to hold off on posting the coordinates for now. I'd also appreciate some help in retrieving the raw 3130 coordinates if any of you guys have the time. That's about 2141 systems. Auxiliary to that, I'd also appreciate if anyone can start mining the other maps for raw coordinates of systems that do not appear on the 3130 maps. Precedence is on the Full IS maps in case systems appear on both the full maps and the partial maps (Handbooks and Field Reports) because it's easier to reference Terra and the extreme systems on those maps. Syntax will be working on it as well but we cannot expect 100% from him after his fall-off with BT so I'm going to be picking up the ball full time on the extrapolation project. --Volt 23:44, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Good issue, i favor Oysteins 3130 Map to, you hit the nail, some published various maps have some various 30LY 60LY 120LY scales, and i appricate that we work from the 3130 Map.--Doneve 00:02, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
Is it possible to get Oystein to confirm which maps in sources like the Handbooks, if any, haven't been resized this way? At least some of them must have been kept at the right dimensions, because I overlaid the Rim Worlds Republic 2750 map from Handbook: Major Periphery States over the 3130 era map to confirm the identities of the new Rim Territories planets.
It's going to make putting together the phase 3 maps for the project a pain, and it makes me wonder about all those maps in the project map gallery, too... BrokenMnemonic 09:22, 13 October 2011 (UTC)
I asked him about it and his response was "I'd use one of the standalone PDF maps as basis, really. They are all created from the same file."
In asking what he meant by "standalone PDF" his reply was "Any not published in a sourcebook." which practically eliminates just about everything we've done to date because all the coordinates were based on the 3075 map, hence my decision to reboot using the 3130 map, which was a stand-alone map. I am considering the scale to be the correct one.
Interestingly enough, if you would take a look at the Field Report PDF books, you'd notice that the maps on the last page are sized differently from the rest of the pages. I had assumed that the maps were to scale. I found that the DCMS, FWL, AFFS maps all shared the same scale (the DC border on the DCMS and AFFS book matched perfectly when I scaled then both to 500 pixels wide). I encountered the same with all the CJF, CHH/CWF, GBD and CSR/OA maps. Unfortunately, when I scaled everything to 1LY=1pixel, the DCMS and OA maps did not line up both horizontally and vertically. I was sure that the scale was correct because when I re-sized each map the 50LY ruler became EXACTLY 50.000 pixels (or 40.000 depending on the map ruler). So it would appear that even those maps were not scaled uniformly.
Gah, what I wouldn't give for even just one map with a guaranteed X and Y scale. At this point the 3130 map is all we have because it's the only one-page full map. The sad thing is that it's constrained to a 35in x 23in paper size so even then we're not sure that this one is not non-uniformly scaled. --Volt 10:14, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Update with the coordinates[edit]

Hello? Anybody home? Please don't tell me I'm the only one working on the coordinates sub-project here... Anyway, for the sake of an update, I've managed to transfer 85% of the 3005 systems (I added Hyades Cluster) to the new formula and scales based off of the 3130 map. There will be slight problems in incorporating the Hanseatic League, Nueva Castile, Deep Periphery, Pentagon and Clan Homeworlds in the coordinates mapping because of the Y-axis scale issue I pointed out above. I have not had time to determine how to best go about solving that roadblock. Took me a long time to get to 85% because in the middle of the project I was kinda having second thoughts on whether or not to complete this project. Anyway, some good news. I got in tough with Bad_Syntax and passed him my info on transferring reference maps from 3075 to 3130 and he did some work and this is what he found out:

"Hmmm… so on the 3130 map the scale that shows 120 LY is 167.517 points wide, yet the sideways { thing below it is 166.3. If I use 167.517 for the scale of 120 LY, and remove the top 30 offenders, the remaining 1873 worlds average about -2.64 LY off from the original canon coordinates. If I change the value to 166.3, the average goes to -.47. If I change it to just 166.04, it drops to .00! I think based on that, I’ll use 166.04 as the map scale, as that actually lines up with canon coordinates. Woohoo!
The remaining 30 worlds from 3025 though, are anywhere from 5 to nearly 100 LY off, so I’m sure those are the ones that could be safely dropped/converted to the new coordinates, based on the fact they only represent 1/60th of the total."

Message copied verbatim from his email to me some time ago. I haven't had time to validate the values but if you guys have the canon coordinates you might be able to check this out as well. I wanna hear your thoughts on this finding, see what we can do with this new information (if we can use it at all). Oh and I've updated the 3067 faction ownerships and added the 3081 faction ownership data from Final Reckoning, but I won't be able to release it until the moratorium period is out or something bad might happen to me. --Volt 02:22, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

I can't help with the coordinates sub-project as I don't have any software that allows me to measure such things consistently, but I have been watching with interest, particularly as I'm responsible for producing the planetary maps the articles will be using in the future. It sounds as if from what you've said above, we're going to end up changing a lot of co-ordinates back to something close to (or identical to) the original co-ordinates from the House books - is that right? I remember Oystein talking about inconsistencies in the coordinates. BrokenMnemonic 09:11, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
That's where i'm torn. The 3130 map gives a 167pixels per 120LY scale, but Syntax's experiment is showing that a 166pixel per 120LY scale closer to the now-discarded published coordinates, both in the X and Y axes. However, the 166 pixels was pure trial and error so we can't use that as basis, unless we can get an official ruling, which I doubt. I've plotted the KCluster from WoK (the only coordinates I have access to) and yeah the inconsistencies can be apparent. At this time i'm more inclined to follow the 167pixels until I either give up completely, we get canonical coordinates from 5 worlds, or distances between a couple of systems, whichever occurs first.
So at this time, we could either a) exclude coordinates from planet pages for now, b) go fact-sifting for canonical planetary distances, or c)decide on whether or not to use the ruler on the 3130 map (167 pixels/120LY). The original published coordinates should still be posted though, for historical purposes.-Volt 13:33, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
I've played around with a copy of the 3130 map and have found that the scale of the map and the scale of the legend don't match. I've blown my image up to 400% and come up with the following values: the few planets I've checked average roughly 6.341 points per LY, the 250- and 500-LY circles average about 6.346 points per LY (I've always known that these were close but weren't 100% accurate), and the legend averages about 6.39 points per LY. So if you apply the legend's scale to the map the planet coordinates will always be off as a result. Applying the map scale to the legend shows that the legend's 120 LY bracket is actually 121 LY long. And as for the "top 30 offenders," there are a few errors in the original coordinate lists, which I'm hoping to identify in the next few days. --SteelyDon 16:56, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I found those issues too. The LY circles' X-diameters and Y-diameters were not even the same. The legend scale horizontal bar and the left and right vertical bars at the end of the scale don't match up either. I just decided to use the 3130 map for lack of a better reference 1-page map. I should be able to convert the scales on my spreadsheet once a more accurate map becomes available since the reference coordinates I used were the raw values from the PDF files. -Volt 11:41, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

System coordinates in the original House Sourcebooks increase in jumps of .26 or .27 (in a repeating 25-number cycle of 11 x .26, 1 x .27 / 12 x .26, 1 x .27; starting from 0.00 with 6 x .26, 1 x .27 then repeating the 25-number cycle). For example, there are 6 systems that use 0.00 as either an x or a y coordinate and 5 systems that use +/-0.26 as either an x or a y coordinate but no systems that use +/-0.01 through +/-0.25. Again, there are 2 systems that use +/-0.52 as either an x or a y coordinate but none that use +/-0.27 through +/-0.51. Is it believable that 10 systems would use +/-75.11 as either an x or a y coordinate and that no systems would use +/-75.10 or +/-75.12? I've tabulated all the coordinates from the original House Sourcebooks and every coordinate listed fits this pattern. This artificial “rounding” makes the listed coordinates inherently inaccurate and thus I feel that they may be safely ignored, even though they are still technically “canon." (Fixed some errors in the listed numbers based on misreading some very old data) --SteelyDon 06:07, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

hey thanks for that info, I was not aware of such rounding. Well, in that case I can forget about looking for the original coordinate data. I thought I read somewhere on the old CBT forums though that the printed coordinates are no longer considered canon. I'm not really 100% on that one though. -Volt 14:06, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
I've taken another look at the old coordinates, as the odd nature of the "rounding" I'd noticed has always bothered me. The whole .26/.27 thing seems just a tad too complex for someone to develop and stick with in calculating the coordinates of nearly 2,000 systems. One thought I had was that it may be an artifact caused by a line drawing (I don't believe that vector-based software existed at the time the original maps were created) being interpolated into a bit-map image. Another possibility is that the original grid was based on the parsec and not the light year, as the 25-number cycle comes to exactly 6.52 light years, or 2 parsecs, and that the "rounding" is an artifact of that measurement being broken down into 25 "equal" segments.
Lending credence to the second supposition are the facts that, 1) the system circles appear to all be precisely 1 parsec in diameter; and 2) the original map scales were in parsecs, not light years - players were advised to use 9 parsecs (29.34 LY) to calculate jump ranges (this may also be the origin of the belief that the maximum jump range is less than 30 LY).
I just got Adobe Illustrator CS5 and have started playing around with some of the maps. I don't think I'll find an answer for the actual origin of the artifact, but it seems from just a cursory examination of a copy of the 3130 map (stitched-together screenshots at 400% resolution - I'd love to get the original vector-based image to look at but the file is password-protected) shows that the coordinates may, in fact, actually be accurate. Of course, this means that the whole map is an artificial construct, as such adherence to a rigid grid would never exist in nature. I'll know more in a week or so as I build a map based on the original coordinates and compare it to copies of existing maps. I'll post a spreadsheet with all the original coordinates in about 2-3 days once I get it done so that y'all can look at them as well. --SteelyDon 16:42, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
My copy of the 3130 Map came from Oystein's site and it opened on CS5 without any password-protection issues. I could send you a copy if you can't get a hold of one.-Volt 11:41, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
That would be greatly appreciated, thanks. I finished the coordinate spreadsheet but I can't seem to figure out how to upload it to the download page. I've started building a map based on the coordinates but it's gonna take a few weeks to verify everything. --SteelyDon 22:44, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
okay, let me know how i can send the file your way. What application are you using to generate the maps from the coordinates sheet? -Volt 07:55, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
Sorry about the delay getting back to you, been working on the map for the last week or so. Couple false starts but I think I've got a good one going now, using Adobe Illustrator CS5. And if you could send that map to I'd really appreciate it. Thanks. --SteelyDon 00:22, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, here's my first draft of the map
Initial 3025 Map
; it includes some corrections based on the large 3025 map and corrects some obvious mistakes in the Planet Guides but is otherwise based entirely on the coordinates in the Planet Guides. I've got an Excel document that lists all the coordinates and corrections but am not sure how to upload it. Hopefully this map will help in some way (sorry for the upload history, I was having issues getting Illustrator to save the file properly) Also, not sure what (if anything) to put down for the licensing on the image. --SteelyDon 03:35, 21 December 2011 (PST)

Hey guys, long time no chat. I've just released the latest extrapolated coordinates at the forums [3]. I've redone all coordinates merging using a new formula, added the Chainelane Isles systems that appeared on the new Field Manual, and fixed some typo errors. Feel free to use them but please let me know if you spot errors so I can correct them. -Volt 01:43, 18 January 2012 (PST)

Targeted post is this one. Thanks for picking up the torch and running with it, Volt.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 05:14, 22 January 2012 (PST)
Haha, I think I got Bad_Syntax back in the game!-Volt 15:26, 22 January 2012 (PST)

2764 map vs 3130 map[edit]

I'm gonna do a comparison between the 2764 IS map from FM:SLDF and the 3130 Dark Age map. Both are single page maps, so I'd be able to do an XY scaling comparison. Plus, with 2764 being the most populous map we have to date, it might be an even better base map to merge into. Plus I'm getting bored waiting for HB:HK I wanna do something tedious with my time just so I can see if I'm getting rusty. -Volt 16:54, 18 July 2012 (PDT)

Hy Volt, i think HB:HK is a never ending story, and you are right to kick this source out, when you are done with the XY corridants (IMO fix some coordinates on your spreed sheet and other thinks), can you talk to me and give me the permission to use your updated spreed sheet for some updates, greetings.--Doneve 17:34, 18 July 2012 (PDT)
Sounds like a splendid idea to me. With FM:SLDF apparently having a single page map, it may end up being the map I use to generate the local area maps for all the planet articles, if it's in an easily modified format... (although I actually need to buy the book and check sometime) BrokenMnemonic 01:20, 19 July 2012 (PDT)

Hanbook: House Kurita[edit]

IT's OUT!!!!!!!! finally, that book can complete my database for pre-3025 battletech ownership and coordinates. anyone have a copy I can peek at? -Volt (talk) 16:37, 23 April 2015 (PDT)

Bad links[edit]

FYI, the external references on this article are both broken links. Specifically:

Are these files available anywhere else? Does anyone have copies that can be hosted somewhere so these links can be updated? Access to the raw data is required for anyone wanting to help on the project and incredibly helpful to anyone working on tools and utilities. -- 15:42, 6 December 2016 (PST)

Update coming soon (days); we'll be hosting the coordinates directly on the site. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 13:33, 3 August 2017 (EDT)


I have been in contact with Volt and he is interested in continuing from where he left off (Touring the Stars: Benet III/McEvedy's Folly). I understand he's reviewing Second Succession War now, and will send me the updated data. I will then take the pertinent parts (system name, coords, map used), PDF-ize it, version number it, and post it here, instead of on the two (long-gone) cloud sites. We will then repeat the process as new products come out.

However, he wanted me to engage the team and ask: what should the product be called? People still refer to the ISCS project (last updated 2003) by that name, so I thought it would be best to give it a proper name. Bad_Syntax started the effort, but Volt has been running it for the last few years. I'm not certain using their call signs as a name would be best (they will absolutely receive due credit on the document itself).

So, Volt's request of you: what should be name it? Give me a couple ideas and I'll send them to him for a decision.

Thanks.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 17:00, 2 August 2017 (EDT)

Do you happen to know if Volt's been through First Succession War? There's a planet in there that hasn't been on any other maps (Juniper), so we don't have any coordinates for it yet. It's also got a map dated to the eve of the war, which includes detail we've not had before like the precise extent of the Republic systems captured by the Lyran Commonwealth in the Republic-Commonwealth War. Do you happen to know if Volt's going to produce a new version of his spreadsheet that lists the distances between worlds? I'm using the last version I have for the system tables, but obviously that'll be incorrect for any world within 60 light years of Juniper now.
Does Volt want his product to be associated specifically with Sarna, or does he want a name that's distinct and independent? If he wants it to be associated with us in particular, then maybe something like the Royal Sarnese Cartographic Society? If instead he'd prefer it to be more independent/neutral, perhaps the Astrogeographical Cartographic Society (or Association, or Project?) Or, for something more directly BattleTech-themed, perhaps something involving the word "Belter", which has the advantage of being an in-game group and, in colloquial British slang, a term used to describe something great. BrokenMnemonic (talk) 04:32, 3 August 2017 (EDT)
I'll just chime in and say I'm happy that Volt hasn't turned his back entirely on the community! :) Frabby (talk) 11:43, 3 August 2017 (EDT)
I semi-inquired into his departure: he was just really being swamped with real life and needed to make a clean break. He, however, remains interested in the 'verse, no doubt. I passed on your appreciation.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 14:54, 3 August 2017 (EDT)
I like Broken's suggestions, I'll put my thinking cap on and see what I can come up with. Does anyone actually use the term "belter" these days? - Dark Jaguar (talk) 14:12, 3 August 2017 (EDT)
I liked the 'belter' idea, because it did provide a bit of in-universe ties, but the term (to me) also seems a bit of an in-universe backwoods slang, not really hitting the professorial heights that Inner Sphere Cartographic Society does. I have shared that with Volt, and I wouldn't surprised he might like it too, as he may be a citizen of the Commonwealth. I also gave him some suggested precepts:
  • be immediately BT-recognizable
  • pop on it's own as a full name
  • have 4 initials that would help identify it
I like Sarna Supremacy Cartographic Society (SSCS) as my favorite, as it suggests a lack of partisanship based on its pre-Capellan origins. But I also like how the abbreviation for Sarna Commonality Cartographic Society (SCCS) would be rather memorable, in the vein of ISCS. I also passed on Broken's names and ideas of messing around with Association and Project. Cooperative, Guild, Organization, Partnership, Alliance, Coalition, Fellowship ("Not so fast, Frodo."), Sodality, Order, Syndicate...--Revanche (talk|contribs) 14:54, 3 August 2017 (EDT)
That does beg the question... which Sarna Supremacy? The pre-Age of War militaristic protonation, or the Chaos March-era microfaction? (If we're going for really old protostates, I'd love something named around the Chisholm Protectorate or Ingersoll Concordium, personally Wink.gif BrokenMnemonic (talk) 03:32, 4 August 2017 (EDT)
You're a demanding customer...Chisholm Protectorate? Ingersoll Concordium? Apparently, I read Liao House last so long ago, they didn't register with me.
However, according to Volt, he'd like to recognize Sarna as, "You guys were the first to appreciate the work and even hosted the data through its infancy." His working title is Sarna Unified Cartography Project (SUCP), with 'Unified', "because I wanted the project to not just produce the coordinates but also contain system allegiances (ownership) over time as well as unique identification for multiple similarly-named entries (York, Albion, Alejandria, etc) including name changes."--Revanche (talk|contribs) 21:47, 4 August 2017 (EDT)
I just sent him an email regarding several items that have come up, to include Juniper, BrokenMnemonic. Do you have a better locator for where the planet is, in case he asks? Something like in relation to one of the Great Houses, or a specific page number?
I can ask him about a distance calculator, but unless it's comprised of 2 dropdown menus (of 3100+ planets), I'd suggest taking a look at Gruese's Inner Sphere interactive map, which uses our coordinate system. The jump tab will determine a jump route between two planets, though it does not provide the actual light-years between. (I responded to your naming suggestions in my response to DJ.)--Revanche (talk|contribs) 15:04, 3 August 2017 (EDT)
Juniper is only on one map, I think - page 50 of First Succession War. It had the misfortune to be founded and then die within a handful of years when the DCMS nuked their one settlement in passing because it wasn't worth invading.
I've got a previous version of the spreadsheet I'm talking about that Volt uploaded for me - it's in my mediafire account, which I can't get at from work, so I'll try and post a link up tonight. Basically, I have to cut it into smaller sections and email them to work to work on because of firewall constraints, and that's why I slowed down on the update project - I'd finished all the worlds up through F, and kept forgetting to send through a chunk covering G-I. Greuse's project wouldn't really work, because I'd have to identify every world in a 60 light year radius manually and then check each one - Volt's compiled spreadsheet is what's been making the system nearest neighbours upgrade possible. BrokenMnemonic (talk) 03:32, 4 August 2017 (EDT)
Shoot me an e-mail via the "Email this user" link in the Sidebar found on my profile; I'll respond with the two current files from which he's working. Let me know if they give you want you want.
Try this dropbox link and let me know if you were able to access the sample coords file, please.
Good news: He's located your planet Juniper and appreciates your bringing it to his attention. It's now in his database (not the one I can send you right now). He's also updated Fable based on the 2830 two-page map, and is working on some faction ownerships and system renamings.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 21:47, 4 August 2017 (EDT)
I've grabbed the file, thanks. Can you let me know if you can access this file? It's the latest tranche of figures for the system tables I'm using atm: BrokenMnemonic (talk) 14:29, 6 August 2017 (EDT)
I downloaded and opened your file just fine. I'm uploading his latest worktables, but they are not the ones he's about to release (so I won't post the link on the Project yet). Hopefully you find them useful.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 15:29, 6 August 2017 (EDT)
This just in: Volt has decided upon Sarna Unified Cartography Society, with the database (to be imminently released) known as the Sarna Unified Cartography Kit. I, personally, thank you for providing your guidance.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 21:29, 7 August 2017 (EDT)
That's amusing me greatly - not just because the kit abbreviation is SUCK, but because I went to Southampton University, and SUCS was the abbreviation for one of the student clubs there Wink.gif BrokenMnemonic (talk) 09:04, 8 August 2017 (EDT)
Wow...good job. Very quick. That was intentional (on Volt's part). But there's one more piece to that puzzle.--Revanche (talk|contribs) 16:55, 8 August 2017 (EDT)

Lostech source or wrong information?[edit]

So I found on my travels this site here: I'm going to hazard that this site is wrong than due to what had been done above? --Deadfire (talk) 18:30, 3 January 2018 (EST)

Deadfire, "jcampbel" doesn't source his information, unfortunately, so there's no way to know his methodology for determining the coordinates he chose to use. I imagine one could compare a sample of planets on that search site to those here and see if they match or not. That might suggest the use of the SUC Kit. Interesting find, though. Revanche (talk|contribs) 09:53, 19 April 2018 (EDT)

Using SUCKit[edit]

I'm not real clear on how we're supposed to use the XLS file in the Dropbox account to generate a map, as there isn't a readme. If that isn't the intention, why advertise the existence of the files for general use? Fyrwulf (talk) 23:45, 14 August 2018 (EDT)

Hi, the system names and 2D (X,Y) coordinates are provided in the sheet. From there, you can plot their locations in a 3d software that can take in those coordinates such as what others have done to generate the map of the Inner Sphere. There is a PDF map in the dropbox link showing all identified systems as a proof of concept. The faction affiliation in different eras of BattleTech chronology are also listed for easy reference. -Volt

Development program[edit]

What was the program used to build the sample map in the dropbox? The layout looks similar to the old ISCS maps but I can't place it. -- 22:51, 9 February 2019 (EST)

From Volt (the creater of that sample map): "Microsoft Excel 2013 Scatter Plot Chart with the XY Chart Labeler Add-on by Rob Bovey". Hope that helps. --Revanche (talk|contribs) 10:30, 18 February 2019 (EST)