The STARCHART should will be accessed at random times, actually, but I'm putting it into step 5, as that's usually the time I'll start using it the most. Here is your 2-dimentional birds-eye view of the Echo Cluster, or galaxy. There is much navigational potential here, hence I will only give a rather brief description

Your CONTROL PANEL (the small grey box) is your navigator for the Echo Cluster, which will help you access points at your command, zoom in and out, track mine fields, storms, etc.

An interesting point I thought I'd mention, the small white CIRCLES you see clustered all over are actually NOT the planets themselves, rather, they are the gravity wells or orbital spheres of the planets. The tiny white dots are the planets.

Step 6 will show you a little more detail on navigating in the Starchart.