Granted, part of the problem is that we know surprisingly little about the galaxy beyond our own solar neighborhood. Stars elsewhere in our galaxy are often too faint or too far to get accurate parallax measurements, and are often obscured by interstellar dust. In fact, we can see almost nothing of the opposite side of the galaxy! However emissions measurements during the past few decades have begun shedding more light on the problem, allowing for this first crude stab at the galaxy's structure.
My hope is that Galaxy Viewer will allow the locations of globular clusters, open clusters, and other popular telescope objects to be more fully appreciated in context with the Sun, the galaxy, and other objects. I also hope it educates users about the galaxy's structure.
This software is essentially freeware and I don't require anyone to register. However if you DO register it for $10 at www.weathergraphics.com/galactic I will supply you with a free Hipparcos star file containing 110,000 stars that can be overlaid. When this file is detected in the directory, the Hipparcos buttons will no longer be greyed out and will be usable.
>> Download galactic.exe installer (800 KB)
>> Order Galactic Viewer ($10.00)