Wednesday, September 07, 2022

Your Town, Middle-earth

If you've been watching The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and dreaming about living in Middle-earth then you might like MapTiler's Lord of the Maps. The Lord of the Maps is an interactive world map which is styled to resemble J.R.R. Tolkein's hand-drawn maps of the fantasy world featured in his novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

The Lord of the Maps copies Tolkein's archaic map style, with placename labels displayed using a Tolkein inspired font. Zoom in on your town or city on the map and you can begin to imagine what it might be like if your neighborhood was magically transported to Middle-Earth.

The Lord of Maps is a neat demo of the potential of MapTiler for map developers. The map includes a link to the Customize tool for styling maps in MapTiler. This tool allows you to customize the look of an interactive map by changing the colors of map features and choosing the font for map placename labels.  

MapTiler itself is an interactive mapping platform which can help you create interactive on-line maps or map tilesets which you can then host on your own server or cloud hosting service. MapTiler comes with a range of subscription/pricing options, including a free option for personal/non-commercial use (limited to 100 thousand API requests a month).

If you want to explore an interactive map of Middle-earth itself then you should check out the LOTR Project. The interactive map on the LOTR Project uses place names from the Third Age of Tolkein's fantasy novels. The Prime Video series Rings of Power is set in the Second Age and many of the place-names used at that time have long since gone out of use by the time of the Third Age (as depicted on the LOTR Project map).

For example Khazad-dûm (the Realm of the Dwarves) is labeled Moria on the LOTR Project map (in the Second Age the dwarves were forced to leave Khazad-dûm. Subsequently this dark, empty underground kingdom became known as Moria, the Black Pit). Therefore if you want to find Khazad-dûm on the LOTR Project interactive map you need to search for Moria (the elven realm of Erigion can be found directly to the west of Moria on the map).

No comments: