Hey, this is pretty accurate too!
I am a geology nerd.
It's Traveller-ish, yes, but not the OTU. I am still trying to work out how to map a galactic empire en detail, while being reasonably plausible, and above all, playable. It's a very, very difficult thing to accomplish, and the more I work on it, the more I understand the design decisions behind the original Traveller setup.
At 5ly to the hex, and simply ignoring the z-Axis, I get a lot more than one system per hex. Even if I pick just some "convenient" and/or "famous" stars it's still quite crowded. I can reduce this to a star a hex by a lot of pruning, I guess, but then I still need bigger hexes or very small symbols and fonts, and then it gets hard to read on paper. If I pick bigger hexes, mapping larger territories will take a lot more paper.
This is what I mean:
Well, hexes are primarily a convention used in gaming to regulate movement (and quickly judge distance, LoS, etc.) If they're not doing you any good for that purpose (e.g. you're getting multiple systems per hex or something) then they're not much use to you. You could ditch them altogether...though I assume you want them since they're in the title of the thread!
Or, what about using 1 ly hexes? You're pretty sure to only get one system per hex that way (assuming you take some liberties when considering stars with similar x and y but different z coords). It makes for a bigger map, of course, and messier. Seems like the original Traveller hexes were 1 pc?
Another possibility: number the hexes and leave the system labels off the map, putting them into a separate key instead. That would clean it up a bit. If you had two systems in a hex you could note that in the key. Just a thought. I frankly like my labels to be on the map, but this worked for pretty well for GDW.
I really dig your avatar. Mistakenly clicked on your username when trying to click on the thread title the first time I looked here...when I saw your avatar I got excited that you were doing a hex map in that style or something (yeah, I notice now that it's an octagon!) What if you made it with really large hexes, containing multiple systems on different elevations? If you did it like your avatar it'd sure be nice to look at.
While I 've never tried to build a 3D star map, I've considered creating a color coded 'depth guide', using ROYGBIV where red is closest to map view, and violet is furthest away. The hexes themselves have lines colored for the appropriate depth. Even if most of your systems are within the same 'red' zone, systems further away have varying colors to denote depth from the front plane of the map. Although as stated, I've never tried this (never been interested star maps anyway), it does seem to be able to be used for depth. (But then all the different color hexes could make the map complicated to read.)
I actually like the gray hexes the best, it was the most legible and easiest on the eyes of the various versions you posted.
My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.
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