As per Why is Coruscant the galactic center?, I commented on the oddity of Coruscant being designated (0,0,0) in hyperspace coordinates. A little knowledge of coordinate math tells us that this means Coruscant is at the center of hyperspace, the coordinate system of which is assumed to be a three-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system. Obviously, being designated the origin would make Coruscant especially important.

However, why was Coruscant designated the origin of the hyperspace coordinate system? A skimming of Star Wars hyperspace history states that hyperspace travel was originally developed by the ancient Rakatan, who used Force-powered drives to establish the Infinite Empire. Later, technological and Force-independent hyperspace drives were reverse-engineered from this technology by the Corellians and Duros.

Assuming that the hyperspace coordinate system was arbitrarily conceived by the creators of hyperspace technology and not divinely mandated by some unknown power, why would the first civilizations to develop hyperspace technology not place the origin at their own centers of civilization? Why is (0,0,0) placed at Coruscant and not Lehon (the birthplace of the Rakata), Corellia, or Duro?

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    The coordinate system is a relative positioning system... It would have to be to account for the movement of the galaxy. As such, it doesn't matter where the zero is. So I'm sure when the government became centered on courosant, so did the hyperspace grid. – sarge_smith Jan 8 '13 at 20:03
  • since the government is the one that creates all those hyperspace maps and routes – sarge_smith Jan 8 '13 at 20:04
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    @sarge_smith Yes, but coordinate systems are strongly linked to tradition. Our current longitudinal system is an example of that. The prime meridian (0 degrees longitude) was determined during the 1800s, a time at which the British Empire was considered the great superpower of the time so the prime meridian was placed at the Greenwich Meridian. Now, one could argue that the world government is centered in either Washington D.C (US capital) or New York City (site of the UN headquarters). However, the prime meridian hasn't been moved. – Steam Jan 8 '13 at 20:10
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    It may be that Coruscant was not zero initially. But considering how long Coruscant has been the center of civilization it may be that over time it was made thus. – Xantec Jan 8 '13 at 20:21
  • yeah since coruscant has been the center for tens of thousands of years... – sarge_smith Jan 8 '13 at 20:27

The choice of origin of a coordinate system is indeed an arbitrary choice. As there is no absolute spacetime frame of reference I assume that is even less the case for a coordinate system related to Hyperspace.

With Coruscant playing such an important role at the time where this coordinate system you mention is used, it seems natural to proclaim the origin to point to Coruscant, especially considering such a diruptive change in technology (away from force-based travel to technology-based travel).

In response to the comment one should add that force-based travel probably never institutionalized a coordinate system - this is based on my understanding of the Force in that other means than using a mathematical construct would be used to identify the target of a Hyperspace travel.

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  • Yes, a shift to technologically-based hyperspace travel would be a disruptive change and probably institute a change in the hyperspace coordinate system (or perhaps the creation of one, considering Force-based hyperspace travel is probably very intuitive and instinct-based). However, wouldn't the civilizations that developed the first technologically-based hyperspace drives place the coordinate systems at their own homeworlds (Corellia or Duros)? – Steam Jan 8 '13 at 20:15
  • Even if some coordinate system had other origin, since hyperspace is mostly used by computers a change of origin should be relatively easy. When I want to go somewhere all that matter is the difference in coodinates, no the coordinates themselves. Think of the way we use GPS and how most people relies completely on their devices. – madth3 Jan 8 '13 at 20:30
  • @Steam So, Corellia develop on coordinate system with themselves at the centre (say 1 unit is equal to 1 light-year), and Duros setup one using a different scale centred on them (say 1 unit is equal to a parsec), and yet another planet/society goes a third way (with 100 units equal to galactic radius) - now, where exactly is (13, 27, 94)? As all the emergent hyperspace societies interacted, they would eventually conform to a single standard for simple communication – HorusKol Jan 15 '16 at 2:49

It only means that Coruscant is normalized as the center. Sort of like how zero in Celsius is normalized to the temperature of water freezing, it doesn't mean that it's anything other than arbitrary. Computers could easily translate that to the true numbers, whatever they might be.

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Also, if you look at the Hyperspace Lanes, especially the main arteries in the SWU, many originate at Coruscant, and the following tribuaries stem from the major ones. It is the center of the Hyperspace map because it is also the center of commerce, as well as political.

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