Recently at the Crafting {:} a Life unconference fellow participant and all around Internet Gentleman Olle hosted a session on fantasy cartography. Today I came across these excellent examples of using fictional maps, those of Middle Earth, to explore the possibilities of professional geographic information tools.

In short, Frodo could have saved half his travel time, cutting it by over 3 months, by spending some time on data analysis and route mapping first to get to the route that is the safest direct route against lowest effort.

Alternative routes into Mordor

Or should he have flown? (Fly you fools!)