Google sightseeing is a nifty way to visit the world's treasures from the comfort of your laptop, occasionally sighting the odd bathing celebrity (or yourself) on Google Maps. Tolkien Tourism refers to Lord of the Rings diehards visiting physical locations bearing significance in the Middle Earth universe.
Now, thanks to a joint Google/Warner Bros. promotion for the forthcoming Hobbit sequel, The Desolation of Smaug, you can do both together. Which is to say: you can now visit Middle Earth on Google Maps, a sentence that J.R.R. Tolkien quite certainly never imagined being uttered in 1937. Here's a quick video preview showing what that looks like:
According to a Google spokeperson (via The Wall Street Journal), the grand tour was made because of "all the geek fans everywhere" and offers three locales (Rivendell, Trollshaws, and Dol Guldur) to explore. The Desolation of Smaug is out December 13, and the 3-D exploration is available now on Chrome and Android. Real fans still book travel plans to New Zealand to go Tolkien-hunting, though.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.