Google Middle Earth

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Revision as of 08:04, February 17, 2007

Google Middle Earth
Google MI Logo
Sauron Is Watching You
Google MI Screenshot
GME viewing the Misty Mountains.
Mantainer(s) Sauron
Stable release Mirkwood, 1446 / 3rd Age
Preview release Númenor, 2017 / 2nd Age
Operating system DOS, BASIC
Percentage of users 0.005%
“Oh I have got to update this Khazad-dum section. I've been looking at that orc scratching his butt for the past seven hundred and fifty-five years.”
~ Sauron on Google Middle Earth
“This is a big let-down. All this time I thought we were fighting an almost-omnipotent dark lord, and now I find out it's just a two-bit drunken programmer with an Acorn.”
~ Faramir on Google Middle Earth

Google Middle Earth is a palantir-driven geographical simulation program of Middle Earth. It was created by webmaster/ringlord Sauron and is powered primarily by software giant Google[1]. Sauron himself has frequently obscured the tool's existence[2], instead fostering the perception that his near-omniscience derives from a colorful vagina-shaped eyeball.

Summary

GI ME
The western continent of Middle Earth, zoomed out to maximum on GME. Note the ash plume from Mount Doom can be seen from space.

Recalling his most early efforts as a powerful servant of Aulë the Smith, Sauron temporarily set aside ringmaking during the Second Age and rolled up his sleeves for a new project. Using plantir imagery from Beleriand to Númenor, Google Middle Earth (GME) stitched together a lifelike, almost real-time model of the western Arda continents that could be zoomed into view locations in great detail.

The beta version was unfortunately wiped out in 3319 of the Second Age when Númenor experienced catastrophic failure and sank beneath the sea. Returning to form quite some time later as the Necromancer of Mirkwood, the penultimate evil in Middle Earth redeveloped GME and later transferred its operating system to The Sauron Station at Barad-dur.

3D Structures

Following much shoulder-tapping by the Witch King of Angmar, who wanted better topology and function in order to achieve complete victory in his assault upon Minas Ithil, Sauron sighed and took a few moments away from subverting some Southrons in order to create a plugin that made blocky gray structures. The Lord of the Nazgûl finished reducing the citadel within six months.

Resolution

GI Minas Tirith
GME's sketchy yet effective 3D imagery allows Mordor's Operation Rolling Thunder to achieve victory after victory.

GME’s accuracy is as good as 30m per pixel in the countryside, and urban areas are covered up to 1m per pixel. Most roads are not marked, however, as only the Dark Lord of Mordor and a handful of his chief servants use the program: they have been around so long they know all the roads and are too lazy to fill the names in.

Images are only taken at most every 500 years as Sauron must sit through and manage the entire process. The small programming team at Barad-dur does not have much time away from regular 'day-to-day' activities such as marshalling, torturing, intimidating and midnight poker championships.

Criticisms

Need for Updates after Wars and Disasters

Images in many places are over 1000 years old and consequently do not capture more recent events. Númenor is still shown as in existence (though this may be due to Sauron’s sentimentality), and the area around the Lonely Mountain remains as it was when burned and terrorized by Smaug the Golden.

Nonexistent Help Function

GI Hobbiton
Peek-a-boo, I see you! GME allows the Dark Lord of Mordor to investigate those silly 'halflings' during a Third Age search for some lost jewelry.

The main user was not a particularly caring individual, and so did not bother to program a Help function. Also, the program becomes very unstable on Mac platforms.

National Security and Privacy Issues

King Marcuul II of Far Harad complained that the imagery of his nation was too detailed, especially around his royal yurt. Sauron disintegrated him. Taking the cue, there were no further complaints from Mordor’s allies.

The area around the Black Gate was obscured through pixelization prior to the Battle of Dagorlad in 3434 of the Second Age, as Sauron feared through industrial espionage the Last Alliance of Elves and Men might prove victorious. Just before the battle, GME and The Sauron Station were moved to an undisclosed location in the Misty Mountains to stop the software from falling into the hands of the enemy.

Secret User Comment

“O, I was a lover of wind and foam/Before elves crossed its girth/And I sigh with pleasure when I roam/this land so Valar-birthed./But most amusement do I derive/peeking on the little tribes/through Google Middle Earth!”
~ Tom Bombadil on Google Middle Earth

Footnotes

  1. A pun on "giant" here is tempting but difficult due to their absence in the Middle Earth mythology.
  2. The appearence of this footnote helps make a potentially controversial statement of truth less shocking at first; see Wikipedia.

See also

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