Is there any fictional world (e.g. Middle-earth, Discworld etc.) which could be used in a GIS context?

For example, an MBTiles archive and a shapefile or any other format usable with OpenLayers / Polymaps / Leaflet?

  • 2
    Altought these are non fictional, ArcGIS supports using reference systems to other bodies in space, such as the moon and Mars (if I recall). Sep 6, 2011 at 16:24
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    My favourite fictional maps are of the Koana Islands, but I'm not sure where to obtain the base data for it.
    – Mike T
    Oct 23, 2014 at 22:04
  • what is the outcome that you want from this question? Data, a website to research, community wiki to show possibilities?
    – Brad Nesom
    Oct 28, 2014 at 14:04

7 Answers 7


For middle-earth there is a community doing this kind of stuff: http://www.me-dem.org/

(update) The link is no longer active but you may find more at: https://forum.outerra.com/index.php?topic=2344.0

  • It is not immediately visible (a mere decade later ;-). Maybe it moved. Or, maybe you have a directly URL to a page within the site? Or can remember enough search terms to find another copy?
    – Mawg
    Apr 15, 2021 at 7:42

This is not quite a fictional world, but a nice use of GIS technology nonetheless.

There's a fabulous XKCD comic featuring a highly detailed illustration, which is a bit tiresome to click and drag in the tiny window provided.

Florian Wesch georeferenced the whole cartoon and has provided it in a Leaflet map at http://xkcd-map.rent-a-geek.de

enter image description here

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There is an interactive Google Maps of Middle Earth. Talked about in this article http://geoawesomeness.com/middle-earth-digital-elevation-model-mapping-lord-rings/

Then here's the interactive map http://middle-earth.thehobbit.com/map

Music included.

It looks like you can download the DEM for Middle Earth here http://forum.outerra.com/index.php?topic=1491.0

  1. Download and install the FREE Outerra Tech Demo (Anteworld); the Outerra planetary renderer.
  2. Download and install the FREE ME-DEM dataset.

The dataset is 1.1 GB

  • middle-earth-v1.1.otx (direct)
  • middle-earth-v1.1.otx (Google Drive)
  • middle-earth-v1.1.otx (Mega)

Just open the downloaded otx file, it will be installed automatically by Anteworld.

At the login screen, select the Middle-Earth (medem) world from the menu above the login button. It's that easy.

This is from the forum.outerra website


You can look at OpenGeoFiction, they use OpenStreetMap tools to make fictional maps.

Any image is also possible. You just need to use image overlay component with a raw image or tiled images with Zoomify. Instead of projection unit, you simply use pixels.

Leaflet, OpenLayers 2 & 3 support all this cases in native (except Leaflet that need a plugin for Zoomify)


  • OpenGeofiction looks quite impressive and also suitable for "serious" use in cases we want demonstrate some software / algorithms with real-like data but do not want to use real data for some reasons.
    – Juhele
    Nov 27, 2019 at 15:21

Im not sure I understand your question. But it made me think of this fictitious islands and time periods (well maybe not so fictitious time periods) metal map created by Patrick Galbraith
also there are several of those types of maps in this question as answers.
If it is data you are wanting you might explain the use (after you get it into openlayers). There is a dataset put out by safe software called interopolis with the data strewn throughout the website on different training links.

Safe software has done some work with minecraft (James Fee) and many of the 3d datatypes.
Recently discussed at the user conference was the fact that Mojang had an initiative called block by block. encouraging young planners to redesign their communities to show what they would like to see it look like. It doesn't look to me they were very encouraged.


I doubt the data is readily available but since you specifically mention Discworld, there is an iOS app for the map of Ankh-Morpork which would have in in-game coordinate system and could thus be projected.

The Disc would be particularly difficult to map as you would have to write an entire spatial reference specifically for it that instead of a spheroid used a cylinder. Unless you want to consider the Disc as pancake shaped in which case converting the math so its just a smashed sphere might be easier (with The Hub being a feature on the surface not part of it, that math would be horrible). All coordinates would be polar. Most fantasy doesn't get into the details of the physical geodesy of world(s) involved so projection is not easy. Sci-fi would be more likely to be a genre with that sort of data but I don't know of anyone creating datasets for any works. I would gladly help with a Discworld project though.

  • Great points!! I would settle for a street map of Ankh-Morpork, thouh
    – Mawg
    Apr 15, 2021 at 7:45

You could follow up the steampunk world described in How do I specify a CRS for a fictional game map in QGIS?.

I'm not sure whatever happened to it, but it'd be interesting to see how the chap got on.

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