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I'm looking for a map of stars within a few hundred LY of the Sun. I'd like to be able to add text tags to stars, so I can name them within my SF universe. Then I'd like to be able to rotate the image and look at it from various angles. Aim is NOT to publish it, but to make sure my characters aren't going from Edinburgh to London via Land's End. Any suggestions gratefully received.

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You could always buy a copy of Astrosynthesis, which enables you to import the data you need, view the map in 3D rotate and zoom the map, and which enables you to generate system maps for each of the stars.

A free trial is available, it is Windows only.

http://www.nbos.com/products/astrosynthesis

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I can give you the conversion macro's etc... to produce x,y,z co-ordinates for all the stars you can be bothered to load in. It's a fairly simple Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that will turn right ascension and declination into Sol centred x,y,z co-ordinates, let me know if that would help. Unfortunately in terms of getting the data I only know of combined star lists out to about 75 lightyears.

When it comes to plotting software I never turned up a set up that gave enough flexibility to do what you, and I, would like to do when it comes to displaying the data.

Your stated goal of mapping character routing can be achieved using a 2D plot with Z-axis notations, and in some ways that can be more useful, picking out where a system is in a 3D starchart can be a pain.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I haven't ever seen software like that either. Maybe something could be set up in autocad but I have no idea how to set that up. $\endgroup$ – TCAT117 Sep 30 '18 at 17:50

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