Wollari (currently of Ghost Legion) may not be a household name for Eve players, but DOTLAN EveMaps is one. DOTLAN EveMaps, more often referred to simply as DOTLAN, has been an pillar to the community surrounding Eve Online for more than ten years now, celebrating it’s tenth birthday on July 22 2018. Eve University’s wiki on Navigation lists DOTLAN as a core point to their class training, emphasising the value of DOTLAN for all players.
DOTLAN EveMaps History
The end of July 2008 saw the birth of DOTLAN EveMaps. However, there was nearly a year of research and development before the grand opening.
The Early Years
February 2009 was a very busy month for DOTLAN. Wollari presented more data for players using the site with Moon Mining and Enhanced Alliance Information. Delve War II maps were added and DOTLAN ramped up its Historical Moment data display. Pushing the service into the premier route planning tool of Eve, DOTLAN also added Navigation June 2009. This included a jump planner for capital ship journeys including fuel consumption, a jump range tool to see what systems are in jump range, and last but not least a route planner for gate to gate navigation.
August 2009 saw further development of the Navigation tool with the addition of Jump Bridge options. DOTLAN was also quick to embrace Eve in-game browser compatibility, for those of you remember that little feature of Eve. By the end of 2009 DOTLAN had become the largest historical and statistical database for Eve Online.
DOTLAN was then used by a CCP Game Designer, CCP Abathur, to showcase the power of the Eve API. The first comments were, “This is a PLAYER-made website?” DOTLAN achieved all this before its second birthday! A year later, while his service was still massively popular, Wollari start to feel the financial drain of such a grant project. With the launch of DOTLAN 3.0, the 4 year old hardware powering the site was showing its age.
Motivated by either a sense of community or possibly a sense of fear at losing such a valued resource, capsuleers reach Daniel’s €1,000 donation goal in under 30 hours. Eve has a long history of charity, even from the most cut-throat of pirate players, and when needed, the community banded together. New hardware was quickly purchased and the system only missed a few beats.
Dotlan Reaches Maturity
Aside from Drone Region changes and a CCPCommunity Spotlight Dev-Blog featuring DOTLAN, 2012 was a quiet year. Dust 514 came into the world in 2013 and with it DOTLAN support. In early 2014, DOTLAN again needed funds, and the community rushed to its aid once more. Wollari set a donation goal of €1,500, ultimately spending over €2,500 for replacement drives and RAM. 2014 saw DOTLAN switch its killboard data source from eve-kill.net to zKillboard. This aided in pushing zKillboard towards being the de facto Eve killboard service. Sansha’s Nation Incursions also found their way to DOTLAN that spring, providing a huge source of information to players looking to run fleet PvE.
Aegis Sovereignty, the replacement for 2009’s Dominion system, dropped in July 2015. Eve Online’s CREST API system was also released around this point. Wollari took to the challenge of making use of the new Endpoints like Sovereignty Structures and Campaigns. The Aegis update wrapped up just before Dotlan’s 7th birthday.
Worry from the Community
While there had been previous periods of quiet from Wollari on the DOTLAN blog, in recent years there was a noticeable gap. Wollari’s July 20th, 2015 DOTLAN dev blog entry Aegis Sovereignty Part 2 held as his last word for nearly two and a half years. To his credit, the automation designed for the site and database keep the service up and running for the bulk of his absence, and thousands of players are thankful for this.
Words from the Creator
“I can honestly say that the Eve Online community is one of the best communities I’ve ever been part of. From the gameplay itself, 5 awesome fanfests I’ve attended, the feedback of thousands pilots to the support of the community when I’ve upgraded my hardware and the donations I receive from time to time. But the best thing is the friendships that has been build. Friendship is the best ship ? Nothing comes closer!” – Wollari
For any readers fluent in spoken German, New Eden Podcast also recorded an interview with the creator himself, and we are assured it is a great listen. INN would also like to wish DOTLAN many happy returns!