View Full Version : Map the interior surface of a cylindrical space station.

08-05-2012, 11:55 PM
The title says it all. Examples of such space stations would be O'Neill Cylinders, Babylon 5 and Battle School (Ender's Game).

08-06-2012, 11:35 AM
W00T! I am a majority of 1. :)

08-06-2012, 12:40 PM
Sorry, it sounds like a cool project, but I don't do Sci-Fi.

08-08-2012, 02:07 AM
Ah, but you don't have to do it as sci-fi. You're thinking too small - probably in the the *earthly* space-station range? If you take a Universal Standard Ringworld, like the geofiction world of Alliance is set upon, one could place all the maps the Cartographers' Guild has ever made or probably ever will make, with enough separation that an excess of mana in one "world's worth" of magical realms won't even leak over to the plain magic-free classical-greek-ish map next door. Here - I'll show you. Alliance's website is in French, and some parts of it have disappeared from the web, but there's always archive.org. Here's the geophysical explanation page, (http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=fr&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fweb.archive.org%2Fweb%2F20011007174 732%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.multimania.com%2Fneupont%2F iga%2Fgeo.htm) dragged from archive.org and piped through Google Translate. Rough numbers - 40,000 km wide and 1.225 billion kilometers in circumference.

Same thing without translation (http://web.archive.org/web/20011007174732/http://www.multimania.com/neupont/iga/geo.htm), if you are Francophone.

Now, it's not bending the declared theme of the map much, if you just show the whole ring off to the side, and zoom on on selected sectors.

If you wanted neighbors, you could claim you're a few degrees around from Alliance itself - there's you an ecosystem of a couple of hundred nations - not all active in play, but with judicious use of archive.org one might find details on many of them. Mind you one ought NOT get caught in the trap of rummaging through those nations, unless one were willing to set aside one's own mapmaking for many days :-)...

Ahh, but you say Thurlor meant "a space station somewhat smaller than a planet", okaaaaaay... what happens if an o'Neill cylinder is abandoned, and bug-sized human analogues develop (or are magically emplanted)? You get plenty of not-really-sci-fi, in a unique format. And a world-scale map, of sorts.

What if the cylinder was not created by science in the first place? Say, a natural moon, slagged by an errant blast of magical power in a Universal Standard Gods War scenario. If you think that such a moon got a rough treatment, well, you should see what is left of the *planet*... Say the winning deities shaped the moon-slag into a can, spun it, gassed it up, and seeded it with leftover survivors from the planet. Voila stone-age satellite dwellers. Or steampunk. aetherpunk, intelligent-saurian, gangster-era chicago-ish, venetian empire, or take-yer-pick-era.

Best? Insides of cylinders map *perfectly* on rectangular coordinates, with no distortion. No confusing projection worries!

Think outside the box... err, inside the can.

08-08-2012, 05:33 AM
I was thinking that it need not be sci-fi in nature. Even without going to the extreme of ring-worlds and dyson spheres.

Imagine an automated, self maintening O'Neill Cylinder that has been in operation for numerous generations. It is possible that the inhabitants may have reverted to some form of feudalistic society .

08-08-2012, 09:17 AM
... the inhabitants may have reverted to some form of feudalistic society.
Imagine a catapult hurling rocks at the enemy castle located almost directly overhead [the real trick is to adjust for rotation]. ;)

08-08-2012, 07:03 PM
[the real trick is to adjust for rotation]

Ooooh, yeah - any modest-speed projectile would have to account for coriolis effects. I'm thinking the equivalent of rhumb lines could be correction curves for artillery or archery.

More low-tech possibilities include enhanced ease of flying ('gravity' falling off with height, to zero at centerline) and secrecy-via-fog (otherwise, given adequate atmospheric clarity, everybody can see all the territory). Astronomy could be restricted to the underground miners who accessed the 'windows in the bottom of the world'... and would be pretty useless for navigation.

08-08-2012, 07:51 PM
I'm amazed at how much better this idea is starting to sound now that it's been expanded.

I'm trying to imagine the lines used for correction curves for ballistic weaponry. As far as I can see, they would be very loose helical 'lines' running along the interrior surface.

08-13-2012, 07:47 PM
It's been a long time since I've done anything sci-fi, but I used to map the interiors of space stations when I was a kid (trying to figure out how to make things work with the curved surfaces and all). I think this would be fun.