Having >5 overlays
I would rather have ~3 well thoughtout map-modes that would have all neccessary data shown [/quote] I think we're thinking of the same thing, basically... I wasn't expect 6 or more overlays... just 4: Political, Military, Resource, General
so that you could cycle the modes by pressing one button
Rather than "cycling", it'd be better to have a button for each, so you can get to any one with one click. The buttons can be pretty tiny, so it wouldn't be a huge load of screen real-estate.
and then maybe somewhere in options a panel to define the modes in detail.
Fully customizable display modes sound nice, but possibly a lot of effort to set up ... I suppose a few options for details of each mode would be fairly simple, but well designed modes hopefully wouldn't need many options... if any.
My suggested modes breakdown:
Political: ownership and population of planets in systems, happiness levels of planets, any details of whatever sort of espionage or culture war system gets included (drek's markers perhaps, or my loyalty levels in the system / planets, also spy locations / status)
Military: shipyard locations, fleet locations, with details of fleet strength and as much of the specific composition as possible. Ground troop garrisons on planets / system and any stationary defences. Supply routes for fleets, if this is included.
Resources: production of each resource sumarized by the system or planets. Indication of what's being produced in a system / at planets / shipyards (like in civ3 where production is indicated under city name). An option to show ranges for building effects. Special rare resource icons on relevant systems (things like "spice" that allows construction of certain things)
General: "basic" information from each of the other classes... ownership of systems (shared or not), loation of fleets, production of systems... can't really be sure what is most important and what isn't until all the systems are designed.