View Full Version : June Entry - Frodo's Journey

06-09-2010, 08:12 AM
Well someone had to do it :)

Maps of Middle Earth have been done to death so I thought I'd try something a little different (just for a change, lol!) and do an info-graphic of the journey. LOTR is a great one to pick as there are tonnes of stats on the web on distances from A to B and dates.

My objective is to cram as much information into the chart as I possibly can while keeping it relatively clear and allowing the reader to cross-reference data. So for example, in the chapter 'Flight to the Ford' you can see that Frodo had Sam, Merry, Pippin and Aragorn with him, he was travelling in an easterly direction for about 30 miles between the dates of August 3rd and September 29th.

Here's what I have so far:

a. Distance travelled from one location to the next
b. Dates
c. Key events (When Frodo puts on the ring, Frodo in danger, other key events)
d. Companions with Frodo during the journey
e. Chapters of the book which cover sectors of the journey
f. Relative number of pages in each chapter (the blue bar chart at the bottom) - not sure what it's for but it's a statistic!
g. Direction of travel (the little arrows).

Can you guys think of any other statistics that could be included that are readily available?

All the data is dummy stuff while I get the feel of it nailed down. It's probably going to be a lot longer and thinner. The trip down the Anduin may be a problem they coverered a vast amount of ground in one or two chapters and very quickly so there will be a huge spike in the graph there...



06-09-2010, 08:34 AM
nice idea Ravi, and who doesn't enjoy a nice graph ;)

Steel General
06-09-2010, 10:48 AM
The attempt at climbing the mountain pass (can't remember the name), and the subsequent change to instead go to Moria would be a good milestone as it significantly altered the journey.

06-09-2010, 11:42 AM
Awesome stuff. Look up Edward Tufte sometime - he's kind of my hero in this area. Here are a couple of links:

And this one is very similar to yours, showing Napolean's march. I think the width of the bars is strength in men while one axis is distance and another is time. Pretty cool stuff. You might try to emulate some of it so you could show the creation and breaking of the Fellowship in some way (I know you said Frodo's journey so you might be just focusing on that).


06-09-2010, 01:15 PM
XKCD's version:


-Rob A>

06-09-2010, 02:43 PM
wow... thats cool too :)

06-09-2010, 05:55 PM
Thanks guys, I think the information in this map / chart / graph / thingy is going to be slightly different from the 'Napoleon' style one Mearrin mentioned (@Mearrin - RobA introduced me to Tufte a few years back and I devoured the books- great stuff!). This one (now that I'm begining to get the shape of it) shows time and distance and how it relates to chapters in the books. I've finished the timeline (thanks to EowynChallenge.net (http://home.insightbb.com/%7Eeowynchallenge/Tools/Frodo_and_Sam/frodo_and_sam.html) which had all the dates, distances and critical events - I'll credit them in the map - amazing stuff and worth a read). Also helpful was the Tolkien Wiki (http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page) and The Lord of the Rings Fanatic Site. (http://www.lordotrings.com/default-fl.asp) So the idea is to combine as much as I can of the data on those sites into a small space.

Anyway, I've finished the time/distance line and am quite taken aback by how compressed in terms of time and space 'The Two Towers' and 'The Return of the King' are compared to the Fellowship. Also interesting (to me) is that I was expecting a huge spike in the gradient for the bit when the fellowship were travelling down the Anduin by boat but the gradient isn't too much differerent from walking.

I'm really getting into this one now just for the surprises. What the hell were they doing in Rivendell for so long? Bloody slackers.

06-09-2010, 06:44 PM
It seems that you always have a new (and different) idea cooking. Keep the updates coming...

Steel General
06-09-2010, 07:49 PM
What the hell were they doing in Rivendell for so long? Bloody slackers.

It's all Frodo's fault, that's what he gets for impaling himself on the end of a Nazgul blade. ;)

06-09-2010, 11:24 PM
There was the recovery time, for sure, but I always got the impression that time in Elven lands passed a little differently to those in them than to those outside...I think they might have said so explicitly. I don't know the dates but I expect they were in Lothlorian for a similarly extended time?

06-10-2010, 11:57 AM
Lol...I've got the books out now. They spent so long at Rivendell because Elrond was waiting for his scouts to return and they decided they could wait no longer. Update to the 'map'. At the moment I've got the chapter divider widths set by the number of pages in each chapter so the Council of Elrond, which is the longest chapter by far, has the widest divider but funnily enough, nobody goes anywhere and the whole chapter takes place in one day. I'm not sure that it's all that easy to tell which chapters have more pages than others, I think I'm going to redo it so the width of the chapter dividers is measured by time (so all the ascending lines will be straight) and the page count will be little bar charts within chapters as had thought to do originally.

I'm also going to do that multi-line thing to show which companions Frodo and Sam had with them during the journey, but I won't be tracking the journeys of people once they have parted company as it might make the map too messy.

06-10-2010, 01:41 PM
This version looks clearer, doesn't it? It's going to be a challenge fitting in the chapters in TT and ROTK in such a small space. Things happened very quickly after the death of Boromir. I guess they just seemed longer because there were multiple storylines from that point on.

06-10-2010, 02:14 PM
looks much clearer :)

06-10-2010, 06:16 PM
It's all coming together now...

### Latest WIP ###

06-10-2010, 06:21 PM
wow, very creative concept ye got there ravs!

06-10-2010, 09:52 PM
Cheers DJ, I'm really getting into it. Finding out all sorts of fascinating facts and relationships.

### latest WIP ###

06-10-2010, 11:17 PM
This is such a cool concept, Ravs, and it looks really good so far. I can't wait to see the finished product. I feel rather geeky for the fact that the chapter names at the bottom recall the entire story lol ...

06-11-2010, 02:23 AM
Fantastic concept!!!

06-11-2010, 02:31 AM
This is interesting and I want to look at it large size but...
How come when I click on the thumb it wants to download a .pdf? Is this right or is something going on with the site?

06-11-2010, 12:15 PM
Thanks everyone!

@Jax, the attachment is a .pdf. This is all done in vector and as pdf works in vector it means you can zoom in as far as you like without getting pixellation. The site now thumbnails .pdfs (which is really cool) but you still need to download the pdf to open it.

The objective here is to be able to print out the map on a sheet of A4 paper and for it to still be legible. Just about done now, I'm toying with the idea of getting rid of the book titles on the left hand side and instead having a mini-linear map there to show the nature of the terrain over distance....might be too much though but as there is still time I might give it a try. The filesize is only 200k at the moment so I have lots of room to play with!

Hmm...I'm really tempted to do a grayscale version using Tolkien's style and instead of the lines have a linear picture map following the 'route'....hmm.

### latest WIP ###

06-11-2010, 01:28 PM
it would be cool with a terrain "line" along the chart :)

06-12-2010, 12:21 AM
I really like this thing you've done. I enjoy things that reframe familiar things for me.

06-13-2010, 03:01 AM
Wow, that's crazy and quite cool