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Mapping Arda (and reloaded)

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Mapping Arda (and reloaded)

Posted by Johannes Lomborg at April 09. 2011

Hi Thomas and co-authors of Mapping Arda + reloaded (OM1+2)

 

Apparently I got 'trapped' between your old and new OM websites, so I'll start a new thread here, instead of continuing on the old site (as I have no login for that) where Fred Davis started a conversation on something that is on my mind too.

First off, thanks for some wonderful articles full of insight in mapping the world of Arda. It's very complex (to me at least), but wholly enjoyable. But I also have a few questions that you may be able to help me out with (although a bit late considering the time since your publication).

 

1) Regarding your past and ongoing endeavor to map Arda, is it possible to get a download of separate image files of each map presented in the magazine (particularly the latest updates in OM 2), for use in our own mapping developments (and ultimately in gaming)? Capturing the images from the pdf in a suitable quality has proven difficult to me.

 

2) I have some difficulty understanding your 'globe view'. As I understood your articles, first and second age maps can be seen (interpreted) both from the view of a round world (which you obviously support as the actual case for all ages of the world) with Aman and Empty lands just visible west and east on the globe, or as a flat disc world with same land masses (but most likely smaller, Aman + Empty Lands) at both sides . This, in my head (thinking of a round world, the globe), means that your maps are seen as a projection of the world on a flat surface, in this case my pc display (i.e. the world seen from outer space). Fine so far. But then you show us 'Second Age 3200 and Third Age' (p. 64) and 'Third age with latitudes' (p. 66). Depending on point of view, you either have landmasses drifting outside of the projected global view (if you focus on p. 64), or you have changed the projection of the world map entirely by 'unfolding' the globe, but somehow retained the forms and shapes of the landmasses (if you focus on p. 66). What has happened? Did you explain this somewhere, and I just missed it? Has the globe changed size? Can you help me out reconciling this in my head? :)

 

Well, as I said, thanks for some great articles, which I also hope to see a continuation of in the future!

 

Cheers

Johannes

 

Re: Mapping Arda (and reloaded)

Posted by Thomas Morwinsky at April 15. 2011

Hi Johannes,

Previously Johannes Lomborg wrote:

First off, thanks for some wonderful articles full of insight in mapping the world of Arda. It's very complex (to me at least), but wholly enjoyable. But I also have a few questions that you may be able to help me out with (although a bit late considering the time since your publication).

We're pleased to hear it was to your liking :)


1) Regarding your past and ongoing endeavor to map Arda, is it possible to get a download of separate image files of each map presented in the magazine (particularly the latest updates in OM 2), for use in our own mapping developments (and ultimately in gaming)? Capturing the images from the pdf in a suitable quality has proven difficult to me.

We'll see to provide that as well. It can be done in the whole restructuring process of the website, so it might take a bit time.

 

2) I have some difficulty understanding your 'globe view'. As I understood your articles, first and second age maps can be seen (interpreted) both from the view of a round world (which you obviously support as the actual case for all ages of the world) with Aman and Empty lands just visible west and east on the globe, or as a flat disc world with same land masses (but most likely smaller, Aman + Empty Lands) at both sides . This, in my head (thinking of a round world, the globe), means that your maps are seen as a projection of the world on a flat surface, in this case my pc display (i.e. the world seen from outer space). Fine so far. But then you show us 'Second Age 3200 and Third Age' (p. 64) and 'Third age with latitudes' (p. 66). Depending on point of view, you either have landmasses drifting outside of the projected global view (if you focus on p. 64), or you have changed the projection of the world map entirely by 'unfolding' the globe, but somehow retained the forms and shapes of the landmasses (if you focus on p. 66). What has happened? Did you explain this somewhere, and I just missed it? Has the globe changed size? Can you help me out reconciling this in my head? :)

Well, it's a bit tricky. We wrote about it, but it may a bit difficult to track in all the text ;)
The First and Second Ages (in the "round world from the beginning" version) are meant to show the landmasses to the poles (e.g. 90°N and S respectively), that is the whole width and height of the planet. Here the main landmass (Middle-earth) reaches from the North- to the Southpole (or almost so). Using these dimensions, the planet is relatively small so (comparable in size to our real-world Mars). Here the akallabêth comes into play. While not changing the world from a flat to a round world, there is a cataclysm of similar dimensions (though mostly dampened by the omnipotent source - Eru): The size of the globe is enlarged from Mars- to Terra-scale! Since the shape of the known continents remains more or less the same, the enlargement takes place in the "unknown" regions east and west as well the polar regions. Therefore Middle-earth after the Akallabêth does not reach the Poles anymore as it did  before.

This is the cause for the discrepancies you noticed.

There is of course the principal problem of getting the surface of a globe (3 dimensions) to a two-dimensional surface (e.g. a map). This an age-old problem in real-world cartography and cannot be solved exactly without distortions of some kind or another. Therefore we chose to ignore the problem and assumed that the 3D globe can be projected truthfully without distortions to a cylinder. Discussing this problem would IMO not lead to really satisfactory result, thus our approach of not taking it into account.

Well, as I said, thanks for some great articles, which I also hope to see a continuation of in the future!

Indeed we are in the process of refining them further. There will be some changes (again; but they are getting much fewer and less far-ranging...), and these affect "only" the inland water bodies east of Tolkien's map. We'll hope to get them ready ASAP, though I can't give you a reliable date for that.

Best
Thomas

Re: Mapping Arda (and reloaded)

Posted by Johannes Lomborg at April 15. 2011

Hi Thomas,

 

thanks for the clarifications, I'll chew a bit on them, and try and find the places you mention in the articles that i missed :)

Might be some follow up later, but I'm off on easter vacation now (and no internet time, my wife says :) )

 

A note: (perhaps also for the technical forum): an idea for a feature (or is it just not working yet, i didn't get any for this thread): couldn't we get an email notification when there's a response to a thread we've created, and perhaps to threads we 'subscribe' to (if this is possible)?

 

Thanks, and cheers

Johannes

Re: Mapping Arda (and reloaded)

Posted by Carl Lingard at April 19. 2011

Hi guys, I thought I'd register on here. I've been meaning to for some time (Other Hands) but never got around to it :D.

I agree of course that the ICE maps are not accurate. Accurate to Tolkien's map anyway. I'm still with the Middle Earth DEM Project (ME-DEM) and we're making progress again over there. I did take 18 months or so out of it for other things, but I'm back with it now.

I'm not going to throw anything more into the debate about the remapping. I think everyone has chewed over the same issues and ultimately there's always room for alternative views, including alternative maps, etc. Tolkien's characters made mistakes. I'm writing a thesis (on and off) and I've got evidence for that, evidence which says that Tolkien intended for them to make mistakes.But that point has been made elsewhere by others.

Anyway, If I had the time to devote to it, I would do some remodelling in line with Tolkien's map, rather than the ICE map. From what I've learned over the past several years, and with technological advances, I think I could do that pretty quickly now- certainly in a fraction of the time it's taken me to model this landscape.

We're currently working with a developer to get our terrain model into his real-time planetary renderer. It's just a shame that we don't have among us (in say the fan modules/ Other Minds/ ME-DEM community) people who can develop something like that.I think such a platform would be a great focus for map making and the visualisation of everyone's contributions to Middle-Earth; those that were interested in the 3D technology anyway.

Ah yes, now I recognise your name Johannes. :) You posted on ME-DEM a while back.I know Tolwen too. Hello again! Nice website :)

monks

Re: Mapping Arda (and reloaded)

Posted by Thomas Morwinsky at May 01. 2011

Hi monks,

thanks for the kind words. I hope we can make some progress with the further development. It's needed to put some flesh on the bones of the maps for sure :)

Best
Tolwen

Re: Mapping Arda (and reloaded)

Posted by Carl Lingard at May 06. 2011

Hey Tolwen, thanks. Hey, I saw Sampsa's Pelargir project...wow! How cool is that? I was thinking of contacting him- maybe we could get his model in the renderer at some point, or maybe we could donate some terrain to him in that surrounding area. It'd be really cool to do a vid from space down to Pelargir. Well, I'd have to talk to him.

 

We should hook up more you know- ok, we're on divergent roads a little- what with the ICE being inaccurate, but then it's always fun just working with playing with the whole Middle Earth thing. :) I was thinking of sending some pics to Pete Fenlon once we've got some decent enough visualisations. I bet it'd be funny for him to see his maps in 3D :) I was always an admirer of his work.

 

You can check out the planet renderer here guys:

http://outerra.com/

 

I'll try post an update at some point on fan modules. The ME-DEM ftp is public access so anyone can download the data that's on there.

 

monks

Re: Mapping Arda (and reloaded)

Posted by Thomas Morwinsky at May 22. 2011

Hi monks,

all that sounds quite promising. I'm planning (when I find the time after all those other projects...) to make a Fenlon-style Northwest based on the Tolkien map and avoiding at least distortions ;)

Best
Thomas

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