I have always in the past tended to explore as much of the map as possible as early as possible. I have always felt there are many benefits to this approach... - Know your enemies - More opportunities to trade (esp. techs) - +1 naval movement. - etc. with very few negatives. Now in BTS there is a new variable, espionage. If I have early contact with all the other civs but they average contact with only half the civs in the game then my espionage points get spread very thinly and they all end up with a significant early advantage in that department. Imagine being the first (and for some time, the only) civ to discover an isolated island based civ. They get to target you with all their EPs and you have all the other civs to worry about. What do people think...is a policy of exploration still a good idea or should I play more insular and only explore my immediate environs?