So I'm in a universe in which there are naturally occurring wormholes, which humanity has used to spread among the stars. Discovering new wormholes is tedious, and scouting new systems is hard work, so progress is slow, and it's possible many routes between inhabited (or habitable) star systems remain unknown.

Except I have a map!

It's not an infinite map, but it accurately and comprehensively shows all the wormholes in and around human-occupied space, many of which are known only to me!

What do I do with this information?

Things that I've come up with:

  1. Sell shortcuts to big shipping cartels/powerful empires/etc.
  2. "sneak" into star systems through "entrances" that aren't watched.

But I'm sure there must be more cool things to do with this!

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    $\begingroup$ Set up toll booths at the entrances, then tell the shipping companies where they are. $\endgroup$ – sdfgeoff Nov 15 '17 at 12:11
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    $\begingroup$ Currently your question is worded like a brainstorming exercise without any criteria of what constitutes a good answer. Such questions are usually well received by the community because anyone can come up with some bs, but they are also frequently closed. It might be enough if you gave us better criteria than "cool" and then explain them well enough how they work in your world, for example if you say you want to maximize profits it would be great if you could tell us relevant facts about the economy of your world and such $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Nov 15 '17 at 12:17
  • $\begingroup$ The entire plot of the Algebraist was centered around the premise that there existed a comprehensive map of all wormholes and entire wars were fought in defense of or acquisition of said map. Not sure I know what would be most profitable, but it would surely be directly related to the way the universe would change as a consequence of such wormholes. $\endgroup$ – Neil Nov 15 '17 at 12:28
  • $\begingroup$ The real money is not in shipping goods. The real money is in secure, reliable, discreet transport of information. $\endgroup$ – user535733 Nov 15 '17 at 14:51

Not all faster routes are about shipping, in fact IRL much shipping is done very slowly (on giant boats) in order to save money.

Or consider FedEx: People will pay 15 USD to ship a contract overnight, or 200 USD to ship a machine part overnight, instead of 50c in postage that might take three days. (or maybe 2 USD in postage for a machine part). Ten years before FedEx very few laymen would have believed that kind of multiplier, but people managing businesses, even relatively small ones, understand the value of time very well and would have paid even then.

One of the big advantages of a faster route is transporting very SMALL things, including immaterial things like information, sound and video. Also in the SMALL category can be people; and the smuggling of illicit things.

I would use the best of the new wormholes to provide a FedEx type of service for shipping everything from information to people. We can get it there faster, and more securely, guaranteed. If it fits in our cargo hold, we charge you by the cubic foot about 25 times as much as the normal routes.

Then you just have to find a way to keep them secret, keep from being followed, and keep somebody from shipping something that can report your route.

Another alternative would be to prove you HAVE such a route, and auction off the location to the highest bidder. Let giant corporations bid on it, set the minimum to something like a hundred million USD in modern day currency. It would be like (IRL) auctioning off an oil field to big oil. But you have many of them, and some may be worth billions to them, ones you could not exploit as well or protect as well as they could.

But of course, you don't have to auction off ALL of them, you can save the best of them, and use auction proceeds from the other to start your own big corporation that CAN protect your best routes, so you can compete against them.

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License and use the information for ludicrous amounts of money

One United Universal Parcel Services gets a call.

Hello. I took a look at your shipping routes to the Delta Quadrant. You make 20 wormhole jumps to get there, correct?

What if I told you that you can make that same journey in only six jumps. What would that be worth to you? No no, do not answer that, it was a rhetorical question: it is worth a cost saving of fourteen jumps per trip, and the equivalent time saving.

I can give exclusive rights to a six jump route for a year at the time, paid in advance of course. Interested?

No?! Are you sure? I am certain your colleagues over at FedEx would be interested in a similar offer. Would you like to reconsider?

Good, I knew you would be sensible. Let us talk sums...

That very same afternoon FedEx gets a call

Hello, FedEx? I would like for you to hire me as a subcontractor.

Why?, you ask. Well it just so happens, I can make the trip to the Delta Quadrant in one tenth of the time you take for your twenty jump trip. Now granted I have no fleet of ships like you do. But small VIP parcels, and of course information couriering, is something I can do for you. What do you say?

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