aerial photograph


Travel to the land of hobbits and wizards, elves and orcs!

Created by Outerra, using the M-E digital elevation model |
 Underwire February 4, 2014 at WIRED

JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth is still the undisputed champ of fantasy worlds beloved by cartographers. Several projects over the years have tried to map the land of Lord of the Rings—some great, some unrealized. Now, however, two of them together have gone beyond simple drawings and created a set of stunning renders.

  • Outerra, based in Slovakia, has created a “3D planetary engine” that purports to be able to render a world in full detail, from space all the way down to pebbles on the surface.
  • Steve Edwards and Carl Lingard started the ME-DEM (Middle-earth Digital Elevation Model) Project in 2006, with the ultimate goal of rendering the entirety of Middle-earth in open-source data. Last year, they exported their data into the Outerra engine.


  1. Middle Earth: seen from space—with labels
  2. Middle Earth: Frodo’s journey traced in red
  3. Mountains of Mordor
  4. Erebor: the Lonely Mountain
  5. Mountains of Minas Tirith



From a Bird’s Eye View

The aerial photography of Alex MacLean features extraordinary views of both natural and man-made patterns. From a bird’s eye view, people, roads, cities and countrysides reveal a unique beauty only visible from this perspective.

An experienced pilot and photographer, MacLean has flown his plane over much of the United States documenting the landscape. His photography portrays the history and evolution of the land from vast agricultural patterns to city grids, recording changes brought about by human and natural processes. Maclean has also authored eleven books featuring his incredible aerial photographs.

sources 1, 2


Bernhard Lang (Germany) - Aerial Views Adria

Germany-based photographer Bernhard Lang’s obsession with aerial photography began after realizing that there actually wasn’t that much of it out there–at least, not much that took the vertical perspective he liked. He was drawn to the occasional top-down photos he came across in magazines, and also thought about photography every time he boarded a plane to fly somewhere. “Looking down out of the window, I was fascinated by seeing the world–the graphic structures–from above,” he says. Eventually, Lang found himself strapped outside of an ultralight plane, hanging thousands of feet above the ground. “The first time it was a bit scary,” he says. “But at the moment I was so concentrated on looking through the camera I wasn’t scared anymore.” Like the filmmakers, Lang hopes that showing the world from a different scale might change how people see the everyday world. (src. Co.Exist) © All images courtesy of the artist

[more Bernhard Lang | via photojojo]


Romain Jacquet-Lagreze (b.1987, France) - Vertical Horizon, Hong Kong (2014)

Romain Jacquet-Lagrèze is a French photographer born in France. He grew up in Paris suburbs until he moved abroad in 2008. Originally dedicated to visual art, his interest in photography started to prevail after his arrival in Hong Kong. Living in the heart of Kowloon since 2009, he directly felt bond to this place unique for its density and vibrancy. His first attempt of recording his new home took the form of the project Vertical Horizon released in 2012 as a photo book. It has been featured in major publications in UK, France, Spain, USA, China and Hong Kong. The photo book has been then reprinted as a second edition in 2014. Romain is currently working on his newer photography projects focused on Hong Kong and the several aspects of its unmatched urban development.

© All images courtesy of the artist

[more Romain Jacquet-Lagreze | artist found at Co.Design]