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Launch of the Lord of the Rings Timeline

LotrProject Timeline Screenshot

LotrProject Timeline Screenshot.

It has been four days since I launched LotrProject Timeline and I have been completely overwhelmed by the positive response. Let me tell you a little of who the timeline came to be and the part it will play in the overall project.

Motive

When I first started sketching the Lord of the Rings genealogy many years ago I did it to keep track of the many characters and their interconnections. Tolkien’s books are filled to the limit with intriguing information and without some kind of “aid” it is almost impossible to grasp it all. The timeline was a similar attempt to make the world of Middle-Earth a little easier to overlook.

I have for quite a long time had a timeline as a part of the LotrProject Android app but it was not until two weeks ago that I started considering to put it on the web. Ever since I started LotrProject I have been aiming for originality and not doing what has already been done. Thus, I was looking for some unique visual or interactive angle with which to present the timeline.

The idea of event coordinates did not come to me until I had already started developing the page last week. Once I had the thought in my head I could not let go of it and I worked very intensely with the design for a few days. Coffee was consumed and I spent a few late nights in front of the computer. Usually when I have a creative project in the making I have trouble letting it go and this was no exception.

So it was that I four days ago sent out the link to the new page, not knowing what to expect.

Response

Four days later I have received an extraordinary amount of feedback and positive response. People seem to like the idea of easily seeing where events happened or perhaps it’s the fact that they have not seen anything quite like it before.

The timeline has been shared extensively across forums and social networks and been featured on theonering.net and io9.com. What I am most thankful for though is the people who’ve taken the time to send me messages regarding corrections and suggestions for improvement.

Future

So now what? How does this fit into the bigger picture of LotrProject?

I have always wanted to expand the project beyond being just a genealogy and connecting events and maps of movements to each character seemed like a natural progression. LotrProject is after all an attempt to make Middle-Earth just a little easier to grasp. I want a visitor to have the ability to click on a character and immediately understand what role it played in Middle-Earth. Without having the format of an encyclopedia. There are plenty of excellent Tolkien encyclopedias online.

The main goal for the future is a tighter integration between the family tree, the timeline and the map and a better user experience.

There are also some short term goals:

  1. Adding a map of Beleriand and create a good transition between the map of Beleriand and the map of Middle-Earth in the third age.
  2. Exapnd the functionality of the highlighting function.
  3. Be able to have chronological order as an option (instead of the current reverse chronological)
  4. Connect each event to the characters involved.

That is about it. Please continue to send feedback, suggestions and connections and use the comment box below to air your thoughts on the project and its future.

Thank you!

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Comments

2 Pingbacks

  1. I love the idea of being able to connect the map of Beleriand with the post-War-of-Wrath Middle-earth. It would help visualize the regions as the history rolls on. This is becoming a wonderful historical atlas of Middle-earth.

  2. Paul

    love the idea, need to see more map on screen to be really useful. Can people contribute to timeline updates (e.g. giving a map reference location where there are missing ones? like numenor)

    The main LoTR story is not too hard to follow on locations, the parts I always found hard were in the silmarilion (for many reasons, not least the many similar names). It would be awesome to see the older geography