Sorry I've been so quiet, since joining and enjoying a brief burst of this most welcoming community - it's been an age since I had time to sit down and map something, but I've resolved now to make some real cartographical practice!
This is my current project (dA link) - my first attempt at a galactic map. I started by browsing as many good galactic maps as I could, as sources of inspiration; I hope I've combined these visual tips in a manner which is pleasing to the eye.
The map depicts part of the DarkConduit galaxy - that is, the galaxy inhabited by the players and characters of a game I'm currently working on. I've sought to work on one quadrant first, get a style I'm happy with, then translate it to the other three quarters. The final map will depict the capital planets and regions of the game's playable races, and a neutral territory from which we'll launch most of our missions.
Umm.. well. I'd love to hear your thoughts!
The Milky Way graphic was obtained from Wikimedia Commons; the inset map of Kildare is of my own making; the planet graphic was drawn by Liam Nicholson as part of the same project.