Hello! My name is Paul Gruber. I am senior at Ohio Wesleyan University majoring in Geography. This blog is for Geography491, a directed readings course.

The purpose of this blog is to document my research, questions, opinions and musings regarding cartographic principles in fantasy maps. This directed readings will consist of an exploration of literature about maps created for fantasy stories, such as J.R.R. Tolkein’s “Middle Earth” and George R.R. Martin’s “Westeros” (to list only a couple), as well as exploration-analyses of particular maps themselves from other fantasy worlds including Dungeons & Dragons, Shadowrun and many others.

A map of Tolkein's Middle Earth (click to expand).

Basically I am doing both a directed readings and an independent study all in one. I hope to use the literature I find to gain an in depth understanding of the way in which cartographic principles resonate within fantastical maps created from the imagination. Then I hope to apply that understanding in my own critiques of many specific maps. 

I wish to open discussion about the cartographic techniques that may have been used to make them, the trends in imaginative map creation and how the representations of fantastic worlds differ from those of the real world.

John Krygier, Professor of Geography, will be guiding me in my readings for and exploration of this topic.

I am very much excited to begin my research. It’s going to be a blast!

I hope others also take an interest and visit my page, maybe offering insight and opening discussions along the way.

– Paul


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