This Beautiful, Elite: Dangerous Exploration Heat Map Shows Where Everyone Has Gone Before

The Milky Way galaxy is a big place. Like, real big. Even so, Frontier Developments, the company behind space sim Elite: Dangerous, has gone to a lot of effort to make it as explorable as possible. So, since the game’s release back in 2015, how much have players managed to get through?

Bugger all is the answer, going by this great exploration timelapse / heatmap, created by “Orvidius NecroBones” using info from the Elite: Dangerous Star Map database.

Despite what looks like a lot of activity between 2015 and today, by the end of the video, less than 0.006 per cent of the galaxy has been touched by our dirty Earth spaceships.

Given the “brightness” of the heat map, you might find this unbelievable, but consider this: space isn’t 2D. Like I said, the Milky way is a big place.

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If you enjoyed this, there’s a whole lot more available at Orivdius’ website, Elite: Dangerous Astrometrics. It’s updated every three days, so rest assured it’s fresh-as.

Elite: Dangerous — Galactic Exploration Heat Map Time Lapse with Decay, 2018-04-29 [YouTube]


  • 0.006%?!
    this game is an achievement hunters hell, hilarious that he’s plotted out routes to make shapes and words between the stars.

    My career as a CMDR thus far hasnt been that exciting

  • I’m curious what the deal is between Sol, Colonia and Sagittarius A.
    Just three major trading posts or something else?

    • Sagittarius A is the super massive black hole in the middle, so it’s just a tourist stop. Same with Colonia really, not much else around it. I think they are just the destinations you think of when you want to go for a long trip for some exploration data.

      • Its sought of a stacking on effect. The more people that go there the more it attracts others because the people who do go there tell others its a good place to go.

    • Merely visiting Sag A and Sol gives you trophies on PSN (silver and bronze respectively) so that might account for some of the traffic.

      • Ah sweet, what’s it like on PlayStation? It’s on of those always wanted to try games for me but my PC might not do it any justice.

        • Seems to run just fine. I was into it for a while, got some good ships etc but ultimately the faction gameplay is just a bunch of cargo hauling which doesn’t grab me. I’ll get back into it one day …

  • Amazing stuff.

    Really gotta hop back in get back in the flow of stuff. Missed out on some good content.

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