Recently i've came across a game called Cities XL. I'm not sure if you all are familiar with it but it gave me an idea for making FreeOrion more interesting.
Now while Cities XL in concentrating on building a whole city on a defined landscape and running it, we know that FO is more oriented in exploring and colonizing new worlds. The two have barely anything in common aside from knowing for a fact that your planet is being colonized and given a focus on which it evolves. The similarity between that and Cities XL is that instead of a whole planet we have Earth and only small parts (maps) of it which are introduced to us for our building a city and of course making it run. It's like SimCity but far more advanced and enjoyable at least in my opinion.
Now i haven't played Cities XL, but from what i've seen online one thing in particular made me consider this as a suggestion which im not sure will be considered but it might spark interest in the developers of FO. Ok, as i was watching a walkthrough of the game i came to notice how before you actually start building you of course choose a map after which you're given the option to see which parts of this map are good for farming, and which are good for industrial centers, or for the general population and so on, with those areas being highlighted in green while the rest is red or orange (you can figure out by yourselves that green means the best area). So i was thinking what if that exact part is implemented in FreeOrion? But instead of having small parts of the colonized planets having those areas the player could actually go to the system, choose the planet and zoom into it and get the option of scanning it to locate which parts of it are suitable for farming focus which for industry, research and mining respectively or even population (they could be marked by their represented colors in the game as highlights on the planet as areas). So instead of having one focus on a planet you can have all of them but with different precentages of development (depending on the planets type being good, adequate and so on). That would of course consider a larger 3D model of the planet in comparison with the models in combat mode. But as i said its only a suggestion. One good thing about this addition to the game will be the better distribution of research and industry points for the players, but in my opinion the cost for a lot of techs and buildings/ships would have to be changed to fit better the points distributed to players.
Another idea in addition to the one above would be the scanning part of a planet. While thus far the scout ships in the game have provided a lot of usefulnes in detecting planets and recently space monsters it would be a nice addition to have the option of a scanning probe to determine the areas on the planets. If not at least a scanning tech part which can be mounted on the ships' hulls. The role of the scanning probe could be to determin if the planet has life on it, the composition of the planet and atmosphere and so on. Generaly to give a basic layout of the planet in question.
Thats pretty much what i have in mind all i can do is wait for your responses, thoughts about the ideas or more suggestions.