EDMC BioScan


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Elite:Dangerous Application


BioScan is an EDMC plugin which attempts to determine what biological signal species (and their values) are present simply by scanning a planet. This is intended to let you quickly prioritize targets for exobiology. It will also display your current sample distance (and required distance), supports species-level waypoint tracking, and missing codex indicators.

BioScan is a multipurpose exobiology tool for Elite Dangerous. It utilizes the plugin system of the Elite Dangerous Market Connector for backend journal processing and display.


Core Functionality and Comparison

The core functionality of BioScan is to provide the best possible estimates for which species will be present on a planet, much like the Observatory BioInsights plugin. With the latest updates, BioScan can be slightly more accurate at ruling out certain bios with overlapping criteria. In a few edge cases, BioInsights may be slightly more accurate. Determining region boundaries and proximity to nebulae can be hard.


There are a few key differences between each. BioScan is intended to be used as an active tool with a compact interface which could be potentially overlayed onto the game. It also presents key information to help you navigate and track flora while landing, moving, and scanning on a planet.


It supports both Horizons and Odyssey biologicals.



While collecting scan data of a system, planets with biological signals will be added to the main tracker. Based on the properties of that planet (as well as your location in the galaxy, and the various stars and body types present), the scroll pane will display all possible genera and species that could be on that body as well as the potential value range of those possibilities. You can optionally display a complete breakdown of the possible species and variants.



After you've mapped a planet with biological signals, it will then pare down the list to the detected genera or species. Once you've started to scan each species, it will display the final type and value of the sample as well as indicate the scan progress. Additional info will be discussed in the navigation section below.


Once fully analysed, the total system value (and possible first find value) will be shown at the bottom of the pane.


Codex Entries

As of version 2.5, any potential species that has not yet been logged to your local region's codex will be marked.

This is marked by the 📝 memo emoji in front of the genus. For best results, see journal importing.



The top of the pane will track all relevant bodies in the system, including a shorthand for the body type and the number of signals detected there. This can help you quickly determine a DSS target. There are additional indicators for high gravity ^G^ and extreme gravity !G! planets. High gravity is currently considered 1G or greater. Extreme gravity is 2.7G or greater which makes it impossible to go on foot.


BioScan will track your movements and show just the relevant species data if you are currently located at a body of interest, to help reduce clutter and scrolling. It will also give you the gravity of the planet to help you gauge your landing. After you initiate a scan, you will get a display of the required sample distance and your current minimum distance to a previous sample, which is updated in real time.


It will reset your scan progress if the previous scan wasn't completed and you start a different species. It can also track scans with the composition scanner and will lock in the final species of the genus without requiring you to scan biologicals one at a time. In this way you can lock in a species and value while competing the analysis of another lifeform.



Scans with the comp. scanner will log waypoints for any incomplete species. If you have an active scan, the nearest waypoint for that species will display below the progress indicator. Waypoints within the minimum distance of previous samples are excluded from the list. When you have no active scan, any remaining unanalyzed species will display the nearest waypoint in the detailed species list scrollbox.


The waypoint indicator will display the distance to the waypoint, the compass heading toward that waypoint, and an indicator for the direction and degrees to turn to face that heading. Note that waypoints will log your current location, so for best results make the scan as close to the target species as possible.


Persistent Data

As of version 2.0, BioScan now maintains a database of all relevant system data and scan progress. It segments scans, waypoints, and codex data by commander. You can safely stop and restart EDMC without losing your data.


From version 2.6 forward, the database management is handled by the ExploData plugin/module. See that repository for more details.


Journal Importing

To facilitate accurate codex entry data, you can import your past journals into the persistent database. Clicking the button in the bottom left of the settings panel will start the process. This can run in the background while you continue to use EDMC / BioScan, and the progress will display at the bottom of the BioScan pane.


Despite using a few threads to help speed up the process, parsing several years of journal data can take a good amount of time. As each journal is completed, it will get logged in the database. This process can be stopped and restarted. It will pick up at the oldest unprocessed journal, though you will need to click the button in the settings to resume.


EDSM Integration

Once per system, you can attempt to fetch any data from EDSM. This is helpful in systems that can't be scanned for one reason or another. Unfortunately, EDSM's API does not currently provide access to biological signal info, so you will have to manually look up signals if that data was not previously logged.


Overlay (Version 2.7+)

BioScan can now make use of EDMCOverlay to draw predictions, signal summaries, and status info directly onto the game window. The text color and anchor points are configurable. Suggestions welcome.



  • EDMC version 5.7 and above (python 3.11)
  • SQLAlchemy python module (embedded in the exe distribution)
  • (Optional) EDMCOverlay / edmcoverlay2



  • Download the latest release of both BioScan and ExploData
    • Users of the prebuilt Windows EXE EDMC must use the Windows EXE version of ExploData
    • Native python users should use the native python version
    • There is only one version of BioScan moving forward
    • If you use Pioneer, make sure the version you're using is up-to-date with ExploData
  • Extract the .zip archives that you downloaded into the EDMC plugins folder
    • This is accessible via the plugins tab in the EDMC settings window
    • ExploData must be named as it is packaged, or you will run into trouble loading dependencies
  • For native python users:
    • Run pip install -r requirements.txt within the ExploData plugin directory to install SQLAlchemy
    • Ensure the correct pip is used for Python 3.11
  • (Optional) Install the EDMCOverlay plugin for overlay support (or edmcoverlay2 for Linux)
    • The plugin directory should be named EDMCOverlay to load properly, if this causes a compatibility issue with another EDMC plugin, please submit an issue.
  • Start or restart EDMC to register the plugin and run any necessary database migrations



Conversion of system coordinates to regions thanks to klightspeed's EliteDangerousRegionMap.


Species calculations are based on various sources, primarily the Deep Space Network, the Codex NSP and Bio requirements spreadsheet, and the Canonn Biosheet.


Nebula locations pulled from the Catalog of Galactic Nebulae (thanks marx and contributors)


Procedurally generated nebula reference star coordinates pulled from EDSM's API



  • Voice notification support
  • Translation support


  • Predictions from Scan Data Predictions from Scan Data
  • Planetary View While Taking Samples Planetary View While Taking Samples
  • Missing Codex Icon Display Missing Codex Icon Display


  • Mar 28, 2024 (Silarn) v2.8.2
  • Feb 20, 2024 (Silarn) 2.7.2 and description updates
  • Feb 2, 2024 (Silarn) Version 2.7 - Overlay support
  • View more ...
  • Nov 10, 2023 (Silarn) Bump to version 2.6.6
  • Aug 1, 2023 (Silarn) 2.6.4
  • Jun 9, 2023 (Silarn) Add screenshot, update version number
  • Jun 7, 2023 (Silarn) Fix typos
  • Jun 7, 2023 (Silarn) 2.5 - Persistent Database, Missing Codex Indicators, Journal Importing
  • May 22, 2023 (Silarn) Spacing
  • May 22, 2023 (Silarn) 1.7 - Waypoints
  • May 15, 2023 (Silarn) Release 1.6.2
  • May 10, 2023 (Silarn) Release 1.5.6
  • May 7, 2023 (Silarn) EDSM clarifications
  • May 7, 2023 (Silarn) 1.5 Update - Colors & Detailed Breakdown
  • May 5, 2023 (Silarn) Remove duplicated text
  • May 5, 2023 (Silarn) 1.2.5 Update
  • May 2, 2023 (Silarn) Fix image caption
  • May 2, 2023 (Silarn) Release 1.2
  • Apr 28, 2023 (Silarn) Release 1.1
  • Apr 27, 2023 (Silarn) Clarifications
  • Apr 27, 2023 (Silarn) First revision