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Author: Phil John

Where’s Mordor?

Where’s Mordor?

I might be in a minorityĀ here, but one of my favorite features of NerdNav is knowing how to get from one fantasy location to another, but in the real world. Let me explain. NerdNav allows you to pretend that you’re in a fantasy location (lets say Hobbiton for example) and then you can see where other fantasy locations are relative to you. While the augmented fantasy display is cool I often find myself in map mode comparing journeys from different…

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v2.0 Live on the App Store

v2.0 Live on the App Store

As the title says, v2.0 is now available. The main difference is that it’s no longer free šŸ™ The good news is that all of the datasets are now included as standard, so there’s no more in-app purchase šŸ™‚

Nerd or Nuggle? Take the Test.

Nerd or Nuggle? Take the Test.

If you’re familiar with Harry Potter you’ll know that there are various levels of magical ability from witches and wizards through to squibs and muggles. The same thing applies to nerds. On one hand you might be a fully elected member of the Nerdengamot, or you may be a nuggle with no discernable nerd interest whatsoever. Take the test below to find out where you stand in the great nerd state of things. Question 1… You’ve read this far, give…

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What Happened to Travel in Game of Thrones?

What Happened to Travel in Game of Thrones?

** Warning – Seasons 6 spoilers follow ** I’m a big fan of Game of Thrones, but since publishing NerdNav I’ve been much more conscious of the alarming way that the TV show’s producers have neglected the geography of Westeros and Essos. It seems as if a character, or an army, can move between any two locations with no thought to the distances involved. It’s almost as if there’s a teleportation device hidden just off camera. There wereĀ severalĀ instances in Season…

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Mapping Westeros and Essos

Mapping Westeros and Essos

The mapping process for the lands described in A Song of Ice and Fire was similar in most respects to mapping Middle Earth and Beleriand. Fortunately there is a set of sumptuous maps available that identifies all of the locations and it is authorised by George RR Martin himself, so thereā€™s no basis for disputing relative locations. The only real issue is scale. Martin has deliberately not included scale on the maps because he didnā€™t want fans to be bogged…

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Mapping Middle Earth and Beleriand

Mapping Middle Earth and Beleriand

One of the biggest problems in creating NerdNav was finding a way to bring together the maps of Middle Earth and Beleriand so that a single dataset could be created based on Tolkien’s world. If you’re unfamiliar with Tolkien’s work here’s a potted history. In The Silmarillion, Tolkien describes creation and the way the world changes over many years. During most of this time activity is largely in Valinor which is in the west of the world, but at the…

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Saving a Journey

Saving a Journey

If you are using the Game of Thrones, Silmarillion or Middle Earth datasets and switch to map mode you’ll see that there are save and load buttons. The idea here is that you might want to emulate a fantasy journey in the real world. It’s a way of mapping a real world journey to something that might have happened in a story so that you have a better appreciation of the distance involved. For example, you may want to do…

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Inside the Nerdverse

Inside the Nerdverse

When I first had the idea for NerdNav there was no obvious nerd element. It was going to be an augmented reality app that you could use to show you what is in a particular direction and what is under your feet right now. Once I decided to include the fantasy worlds of JRR Tolkien and George RR Martin the whole thing took on a more nerdy slant. At that point I started looking at alternative datasets that would complement…

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What’s Up with the Headings?

What’s Up with the Headings?

If you’ve used the NerdNav and you’re not in the airline business or don’t do a lot of flying, the chances are that you’ve been surprised by the results that it can return. I know I was. The problem is that most of us are used to seeing the world as a flat rectangular map, whereas the real world is spherical (OK not quite, but lets not get bogged down in that). I’m based in the UK, so if I…

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Calibrating your NerdNav

Calibrating your NerdNav

In order for NerdNav to work as a navigator it needs to know two things, your location and the direction that the device is pointing. Location is easy. As long as you give the device permission it gets your location very quickly. Direction, or heading, is more tricky and we need to give it some help. Mobile devices use an internal magnetometer to determine heading and as the name suggests, this makes use of the Earth’s magnetic field. Quite often…

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