Perhaps it was inevitable that two great geek preoccupations—data visualization and the Lord of the Rings—would collide with the nerd obsession du jour, demography. The result is the endearingly dorkmeistery LOTRProject, an attempt by a Swedish chemical engineering grad student named Emil Johansson to document every named character in the writings of JRR Tolkien, link them by genealogy, and boil it down into one great statistical portrait of Middle-earth. The result is a series of interactive charts showing the population by race, sex, average life span, and more (he also charts the books’ epic journeys, at left) .
Middle-earth in the age of data
And more recent highlights from the Ideas blog
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