The Galaxy Map is a very useful tool in Elite Dangerous and it is recommended that the player become familiar with the features and information that is available here.
Universal Cartographics provides all the information about systems in the galaxy. Such as the type of planets, stars, trade routes and stations. People can contribute by selling exploration data to Universal Cartographics when docked at a station.
Hovering over a star on the galaxy map will display a menu which will allow the player to select it, plan a route, view the System Map, purchase exploration data, or purchase trade data. Purchasing exploration and trade data can only be done if the system is within a certain distance (approximately 20 LY) of the target system.
The Info tab displays information about the system the mouse is currently hovering over. Star Type, Allegiance, Economy, Government, Population, Gleise, HIPP, HD and a description are all displayed here assuming the player has access to this data (i.e. purchased it).
The Navigation tab allows the player to search for a system, celestial, or station and will move the camera to the most relevant result - results can be cycled through by pressing enter again. A route can be plotted to the selected system from your current system and will display an icon in your ship's Navigation Panel adjacent to the system which is next in the route. Also, route planning can be changed here to choose Economical or Fastest routes and to plan for cargo mass. Note: route planning can take a while, so systems further from your current location may take many minutes to find a viable route.
The View tab can be a very powerful tool because of all of the information that this tab provides. Switching to the Map mode one can change each system to be color coded based upon their allegiance, population, economy type, etc. Trade routes can also be displayed in the Map mode and will color code each trade route based upon what commodity type is being transported.