Is there a catalog of all known stars or brightest stars in our galaxy? Preferably with some sort of galactic coordinates instead of just night sky coordinates (right ascension, etc.) I'm trying to make a model of the milky way, explorable with an oculus rift.
Hipparcos, the predecessor to Gaia, has a dataset (http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/Cat?I/239) with 3D positions for 100,000 stars. While we have much larger datasets of galactic stars, such as SDSS, finding the distances to stars is much harder. Parallax is the most precise technique for finding distances. Even for Gaia, we will only be able to measure distances to 10% precisions.
There is a "galactic coordinate system", but that stil has the sun at the center and the line between the sun and the galactic center as its reference. There are calculators that can convert RA and Dec to galactic coordinates (e.g. http://python4astronomers.github.io/astropy/coordinates.html). You can use that and the distance to place them in space.
No, such a catalogues does not (yet) exist. There are two reasons.
1 The Milky Way galaxy is about 20kpc (1pc ~= 3 lyr) across and only the very brightest stars are individually identifyable across such large a distance (such bright stars by their nature are very massive and hence young). Astronomers tend to cataloge stars by their apparent brightness, which for stars of identical luminosity declines as $1/d^2$ ($d$=distance). As a consequence, most catalogues contain only stars in the immediate galactic neighbourhood of the Sun. The Hipparcos catalogue (mentioned in another answer), for example, has most stars within a mere 100pc of the Sun.
2 Obtaining distances for individual stars is inherently difficult, in particular the more distant the star in question is. Accurate distances for stare several kpc away can currently only be obtained by indirect methods applicable only to certain types of stars (such as RR Lyrae variables). The classical trigonometric parallax measurement for such distances, however, is subject of ESA's ongoing Gaia mission.
ESA's Gaia satellite launched last year aims at cataloguing about $10^9$ stars across the Milky Way, including their velocity. The first preliminary versions of resulting catalogue, however, will still take some time to appear.
My understanding is that any star catalog today represents only such a very tiny and local part of the Milky Way, that you would have very little use of it for your purpose.
In a year or two the Gaia space telescope will have mapped the one billion or 1% of the nearest and brightest stars in the Milky Way. Even then, to model a galaxy one needs other ideas than maps of individual stars.
Might not help the OP since the question is old, but I wanted to do something similar (use known star data for an n-body simulation). Basically, I realized there was no such catalog of stars for the Milky Way.
The reason for this is also in other answers here, but simply put, there is a limit to how far our instruments (such as Gaia) can see due to 1) the technological and optical limits of our instruments 2) the galaxy itself blocking our view of the galaxy. I did a query for the maximum of "simple distance" (1/parallax) on the entire Gaia DR2 dataset and it seemed that the farthest stars are a little over 8k parsecs away, which is about the distance from Earth to Sag A* (the center of the galaxy).
I downloaded a random sample of 3 million stars from Gaia DR2 and plotted them using OpenGL. Youtube reduced the video quality and my frame rate suffered while recording the video, but you can see it here. I used the galactic coordinate system here, where Earth is at the origin and the XY plane is the galactic plane. About halfway I move the camera from the origin to "outside" the galaxy.
In the "outside" view, you'll see that there's no real "spiral arm pattern", just a blob. Apparently there is too much crap in space, and I suspect some filtering or other manipulation would be necessary to tease out the "spiral arm". However, the view from the origin is pretty good and what us Earthlings would "expect" to see. It's a rough (but 3d) version of a quality render done by the ESA.
You might already have your answer at this point, but never mind, here is an up to date (2018) answer:
The Gaia Data release is out (1 & 2). Here is a link to the download page of the Gaia archive data release 2: http://cdn.gea.esac.esa.int/Gaia/gdr2/gaia_source_with_rv/csv/
If the link is dead or you want more, you can just type Gaia archive on a search engine and then go to downloads and you should find what you are searching for. You can also select only the ones that also have radial velocities if you want to include time evolution.
For more precise requests, you can register on the Gaia archive (just need email address + name and takes 5 minutes) and you can then do queries to the database allowing you to filter the sources as you please.
1. The distance measurements have about a 10% margin of error, but it should be the state of the art for the time being.
2. There are plenty of parameters more than just the astronomic parameters (position and velocity), that you can use for rendering your application as accurately and interestingly as you like.
Galaxy Map has detailed information on 5000+ stars.
You can download the exel spreadsheet here
Don't know if it helps. Good luck ;)