Because of the relatively limited number of Federation starships (compared to the number of uncharted and unexplored stars in our galaxy), it is very important that every deep-space assigned Federation starship capable of it chart and catalog the stars that may fall under the view of her sensors. This "study what you pass near" philosophy has served the Federation scientific community well during the last two centuries, and has allowed scientific experimentation and discovery in the most unlikely of places and circumstances.
Stellar Cartography center allows visitors to display images and information
on any stellar or planetarysystem in the ship's computer using the holographic
projectors in this room to afford a much more realistic view of the location
or phenomenon under study. The information available is constantly updated
by data from the ship's lateral sensor arrays, and "real-time" study of
stellar phenomenon can be done from this room.
The projectors are even capable of "editing out" the platform and console
-- in other words, projecting star images in front of the viewer's perspective
of physical objects. Physical barriers and forcefields prevent visitors
from falling from the platform.