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Mapping Middle Earth

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The Map Room gives the tip to a Middle Earth mapping site called The Middle Earth DEM Project. Relying on a number of different sources, including The Atlas of Middle Earth (at one time posted entirely online, probably illegally), Lord of the Rings role playing games maps and Tolkien’s own maps (available in a zipped pdf format), the intent is to produce a digital elevation model of all known lands in Tolkien’s world.

The tools and participants are many but the one that is being promoted by the site is one called Wilbur, a free 3-dimensional modeling software that looks worthy of exploration itself. The Middle Earth DEM site provides a lengthy description on its use.

The project is very much a collabrative one. Perhaps because of that it is a little confusing navigating about the site. Nevertheless, the project holds promise, if the collection of development images is anything to go by (the image above is a 3-dimensional view of Isengard).

See also Geo-referencing Middle Earth.

2 Responses to “Mapping Middle Earth”

  1. Anonymous Anonymous 

    I wonder what projection they would use? Seems like they would have to make a new one based on the different characteristics of middle earth from real earth.

  2. Anonymous Anonymous 

    Hi ben, we've georeffed based on Sarehole (Birmingham, UK) and Florence (Hobbiton and Minas Tirith respectively).
    We can really use Earth as our model (and therefore projections) since we're modelling post-Cataclysm Third Age and Tolkien stated in his Letters and elsewhere that Middle-Earth was not a different planet, but Earth in an alternate timeline or really as prehistory Earth (the fall of Barad-dur being about 6000 years ago).
    Perhaps the geoid is somewhat different if we set our model about 10,000 years ago; we haven't got to that level of detail yet...and probably won't because our source maps are presented as archeological finds (much as Tolkien's RedBook was) with our 21st century spin on them.


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