As a side note related to star maps and ED, I'd like to mention that I have never cared for the "stalks" thing.
Stalks only make sense as a visual aid when two things are true:
1. There's a reference-based coordinate system.
2. It's difficult to move in order to use parallax to infer distances to objects.
The first requirement means that a "stalk" only makes sense when there's a plane, which is mapped to three supposed reference points. The stalk then gives you an idea of distance above or below that plane. But using normal reality as a starting point for this discussion, there are only three cases for a space game in which imposing such a plane makes any sense:
1. Rotating planets
2. Star systems (ecliptic)
3. Non-irregular galaxies
The only one of those three that seems like it might apply to Limit Theory is #2. Planets don't rotate in LT, and there's no galaxy as such in a space game with an ever-expanding procedurally-generated "edge."
So: in LT, are the planets and more-or-less central points of asteroid fields positioned roughly on a plane? In other words, do star systems in LT have an ecliptic? If not, then the idea of a reference plane is meaningless in LT, which means there's nothing to hang a stalk on in any star map.
The second requirement is that you can't move your viewpoint easily enough to use parallax to see how near or far things are from you. (Parallax
is what all of us with at least one working eye use daily to navigate reality. The linked Wikipedia page shows this effect nicely.) Only if this requirement is true, and it's very slow to move your viewpoint (making it hard to use parallax), might it be handy to have some UI-based way of understanding distance. Stalks are one such way.
So: Is it even remotely true in LT that for system maps or star maps it will be very slow to move our viewpoint around, making it hard to use the parallax effect? If that's not true -- if we can move our viewpoint quickly when using a map -- then stalks are unnecessary. You don't need them to understand distances up and down from a reference plane. You just move your viewpoint briskly enough to see how much an object appears to shift its position; that's sufficient to infer distance from your viewpoint.
I'm not convinced that either of the requirements for stalks explained above, to say nothing of both of them, applies to Limit Theory. If there's no reference plane on any map (with the possible exception of star systems), then to what do you pin a stalk? And if we can move quickly enough on any map for the parallax effect to matter, why is a stalk even necessary?
When one or both of those requirements is not true, then imposing computer-generated grids and lines and callouts and other such UI cruft starts to get in the way of seeing the world as a place. I mentioned in the UI poll that I generally don't mind UI features... but they have to add real value.
I'm not really opposed to stalks for those folks who, for whatever reason, like them and want them in LT. What I'm suggesting here is that because they're unnecessary, I hope they (and grids) aren't intended to be mandatory in star maps. For the reasons I've given above, I perceive them as fiddly bits of UI that add zero real value to getting a sense of location and performing navigation.
YMMV, but man, I just have never cared for stalks in my space maps.