Maps of the Star Trek galaxy, particularly as they relate to Voyager's journey homewards across it, keeping Stellar Cartography busy as they went.



Mapping Voyager's Journey Home

One of the things that appealed to me about Voyager was that it brought back a lot of the sense of exploration of the unknown which was so important to the early days of TOS (and, retroactively, to Enterprise) but became rather sidelined in the other twenty-fourth century Trek shows.

TNG spent most of its time travelling through known space that had already been mapped, and while DS9 had the Gamma Quadrant to explore, it had a safe home base in the Alpha Quadrant to return to, and its missions of exploration through the Bajoran Wormhole were always limited by how far out a ship could go before it needed to return to base, if only for supplies and to let the crew have some R&R. But Voyager is a ship stranded in an unknown quadrant without the possibility of being able to make a quick return to known territory, and with only the sketchiest knowledge of what lies before them.

It had no detailed maps to refer to during its journey home. It was forced to rely upon the ship's own sensors to chart the territory as they flew through it, and on what people like Neelix, and later Seven, could tell them of the territory they were flying through and the races that populated it. Voyager's crew had to make their own maps as they went along.

It's always been a regret of mine that we didn't get to see more of the Stellar Cartography section, who must have had a field day with all of the information that came their way to analyse and catalogue. They were mostly an invisible presence, somewhere else in the ship, although the Astrometrics Lab whiche Seven and Harry Kim built, and which became Seven's primary duty station on the ship made up for that in part, and highlighted the importance of mapping the space around and ahead of them to the ship's two primary objectives: exploration and finding a way home to report back on what they'd found. True, the data they accumulated would only have charted a narrow strip across the Delta Quadrant, but in such detail as to make it an important resource for Starfleet when they eventually venture back into that quadrant.

As maps are something of an interest of my own, Voyager's journey and what Stellar Cartography might have catalogued along the way fascinated me... and led me to the creation of the maps you'll find in this section, where I try to fit the pieces of the puzzle that is the Star Trek galaxy together to my own satisfaction.