Mapping the Sphere

One of the many wonderful things available through Sarna is the Sarna Unified Cartography Kit. The kit is a collection of system and faction data that fans of BattleTech have collected from various products and assembled into a single data set.

Last week, I decided to play around with the data. I downloaded a copy as a TSV file and wrote a quick parser to read the data. Once that was done, I wrote a little bit of code to generate simple SVG files using the system and faction data. That was pretty neat to have, and I made a quick map of all of the systems in the data set.

All of the Systems in the Sarna Unified Cartography Kit

With that as a base, I then started experimenting a bit more. First, I made a quick video to show the impact of the fall of the Star League and the first three Succession Wars.

Inspired by the campaign maps from Tamar Rising and Empire Alone, I then added code to also show lines for systems within a single 30 light-year jump from each other.

The Inner Sphere, 3067

The next bit that I’m working on is adding labels for the systems. I have the basics for that working now, but I’m still iterating on it. One change is that adding labels requires spreading out the systems, so when converted to an image, maps with labels are much larger files than my earlier versions.

Sample of the 3067 map with system labels

I also made the repository with this code public, so you can feel free to take a look at it, download it to run locally, or try customizing it to add some more features. I wrote it in C# on .Net 6, and it should be able to work across different platforms, but I’ve only tried it on Windows.

GitHub: scottboehmer/the-inner-sphere

By Scott Boehmer

A game enthusiast and software engineer.

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