The Interstellar Cartography Group (ICG) is a politically neutral consortium formed by representatives of many Colonial Authority corporations and major governments. Built on technology-sharing and standardization agreements, the stated goal of ICG is the acquisition and dissemination of verified stellar cartography data to ship-builders, defense contractors, and other interested parties.
ICG has been around long enough to become a political entity in its own right. To serve its interests, the company has developed the Discovery class long-range long-duration survey vessel and the Foundation class long-duration “follow-up” vessel, a heavy cruiser outfitted for detailed orbital and surface survey of planets of interest. ICG spacecraft can be purchased or leased, though all such agreements include clauses that mandate or encourage the sharing of all newly acquired cartography data with ICG.