stellar cartography n.

a branch of cartography concerned with astronomical objects; (occas. cap.) an organizational unit or work area devoted to this; cf. astrogation n.

Science fictional use appears to have begun on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and is frequently associated with the Star Trek universe.

Memory Alpha


Star Trek

  • 1883 Proceedings of Literary & Philosophical Association of Liverpool (#37) lv page image

    5th February, 1883. [...] Mr. R. C. Johnson, F.R.A.S., read a short paper on ‘The Application of Photography to Stellar Cartography.’

  • 1891 Spectator 7 Mar. 357 (advt.)

    Now ready, second edition…. Charts of the Constellations…. Surely this is the very luxury of stellar cartography.

  • 1993 Lessons (Star Trek: The Next Generation episode) (transcription)

    I’m sorry, sir, but Stellar Cartography has requested a communications blackout while they run an experiment. [Ibid.] Well, I know this is all pretty dry stuff. Stellar cartography isn’t everybody’s cup of tea.

  • 1994 R. D. Moore & B. Braga Star Trek Generations (screenplay) (final draft, 14 Oct.) 62 Ronald D. Moore Brannon Braga

    INT. STELLAR CARTOGRAPHY…. A room filled with exotic-looking devices, sensors, and computers which handle the enormous task of tracking the ship’s position in space.

  • 1994 ‘J. M. Dillard’ Star Trek: Generations (photo section) (caption) page image J. M. Dillard bibliography

    In Stellar Cartography, Captain Picard and Commander Data investigate an interspatial nexus.

  • 1997 M. J. Friedman Redemption of Silver Surfer xvi. 240 page image Michael Jan Friedman bibliography

    Reed smiled. ‘It’s a course change, Ben. One that’ll take us to a planet known as Nicanthus Prime in Prodigion’s stellar cartography files. Mind you, I’m not sure who gave it that name or even who originally mapped the sector in question, but—’

  • 1998 You Look Like You Could Use Elizabethan Adventure on Holodeck in The Onion 13 May (unpaged) page image

    The tedium of hours spent mapping lifeless nebulae down in Stellar Cartography will melt away as we weather winter storms and head up the Thames to accept the Queen’s scarf as a trophy!

  • 1998 M. Weis & T. Hickman Nightsword xxi. 204 page image Margaret Weis Tracy Hickman bibliography

    ‘Thought you might help us out with a little stellar cartography problem.’ ‘Help you I can, but pay me you must,’ the little man said, his long pointed ears flapping in anticipation.

  • 2005 B. L. Pardoe Target of Opportunity ii. 37 page image Blaine Lee Pardoe bibliography

    Rosse smiled before answering. ‘When the HPG network collapsed, the virus responsible for its collapse did something unexpected. It deleted Wyatt from the stellar cartography atlases in hundreds of thousands of databases—including ComStar’s own maps. Thus, the star disappeared.’

  • 2007 L. Sinclair Games of Command xi. 153 page image Linnea Sinclair bibliography

    He’s logged for an inspection tour of navigation and stellar cartography at oh-nine-thirty tomorrow. He will probably also ask—no, demand that I accompany him. I can’t be with him and in his quarters at the same time. And I can’t refuse to go with him, because then he might go back to his quarters and find me there.

  • 2011 J. J. Miller Knight Errant xxi. 301 page image John Jackson Miller bibliography

    Kerra sat, a student again in stellar cartography just as in the Jedi academy. Only this was a lesson no Jedi Knight ever had—from a teacher none would suffer to live. And yet she was spellbound. The stars above had meaning now, painted in colors and outlined. There was Chelloa, where she’d arrived. There was the winding path to Darkknell. And there was the refugees’ flight path, leading through Byllura to Syned. Symbols hovered in the air, marking Arkadia’s best guesses at who controlled what.

  • 2021 C. J. Anders Victories Greater Than Death xxxv. 191 Charlie Jane Anders bibliography

    ‘You’ll never guess, it wasn’t obvious at first, but I figured it out because of all the things that Riohon has been teaching me about stellar cartography and different notation systems.’ ‘Is it a star map?’ I squint, trying to see a constellation. ‘No, no. It’s a stellar classification system.’

Research requirements

interdating pre-TNG SF examples

Research History
Suggested, and most cites submitted, by Ben Ostrowsky.

Last modified 2021-11-04 14:05:09
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.