Images of our own galaxy are either the "edge-on" inside view or artist renditions. However, we have mapped out 2% of the stars. Most stars are red dwarfs, so the more luminous stars will be mapped out across most of the distance of the galaxy (infrared can help with seeing through the dust clouds). We also have detailed simulations of galaxy evolution.

Combining all these results, we could probably build up a pretty accurate picture of what the galaxy actually looks like from the "top view", that is more than "just an artists impression". Has this been done using our (recent) knowledge and understanding?

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    $\begingroup$ I think you'd be more likely to get an answer to this on Astronomy SE $\endgroup$
    – user21103
    Feb 5 at 10:19
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    $\begingroup$ Agreed, this would be a great question in Astronomy SE and it is simultaneously off-topic here. up voting and voting to close as off-topic to speed its migration there. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Feb 6 at 4:21