Middle Earth Found in Google Earth

Middle Earth Lord of the Rings shooting locations in Google EarthThe Lord of the Rings trilogy have long been one of my favorite book collections. And Peter Jackson did a fabulous job putting them on film. Last month someone at the Google Earth Community named “nzlegend” took some local knowledge, a GPS, and a LOTR guidebook, and mapped the shooting locations for the films into a Google Earth File . You can view his post here, and further down in the thread he shows the book he used to help make the map.
New Zealand truly is Middle Earth. Fans will love having a chance to see the locations where the various key scenes from the movie were shot. And, you could download these marks in your GPS when you go to visit New Zealand to help you find the movie scene locations. Although, I hear there are plenty of tours available in New Zealand which will take you on a tour of Middle Earth. You can buy the new extended edition of the book he used from Amazon by clicking on the picture here.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Ask any Kiwi, and they could probably tell you exactly where at least one scene was filmed, and probably one person they knew who was an extra in it 😉

  2. Christine says:

    In 2001 I visited a friend who lives in Upper Hutt. At night you could see a glowing from the side of the opposite valley. Bernie explain that’s where they were currently filming The Lord of the Rings. In an abandoned mine. You could see the exposed whitish rock in the day. That’s all we knew. Didn’t know which film, which scene.
    Since then I’ve watched the films one by one wondering … is this the scene? Or is it this one? Hmmm, maybe it will be in next year’s film. Thought I saw it in the second film. But thanks to this Google Earth file, I now know. It is the Helm’s Deep & Minas Tirith scene. Now, if I can just remember which scene that is …
    Thanks Google Earth Blog!

  3. Yeps thats me, my first ever placemark I posted on the keyhole/google earth forum.
    I am glad my placemark has been distributed and seen by many. NZ is great place with majestic scenery that was effectively used in the LOTR which was superb trilogy.
    Thanks for putting it in your blog, Frank. Excellent blog it is too!

  4. Hmmm interesting, but my placemarks are all off by the same amount in the North and East directions. Is this becuase the photo imagery of NZ has been updated, or is there something in Google earth to tweak the accuracy????

  5. I collected many of the filming locations in Google Earth format, but many others, like Tomtom, Google maps, GPX, RTE, WPT etc. You can even add your own locations.
    Please take a look at
    It’s a pity I didn’t have these when I went there, been in Te Anau and others and missed the whole thing…

  6. The Spanish site Elfenomeno.com (the Spanish member of TheOneRing.net Community), in its eighth anniversary, is proud to announce the Spanish version of the Map of Middle-Earth with Google Maps technology:
    Using the Google Maps API, the map of Middle-Earth drawn by Christopher Tolkien and the power of the “Fenopaedia” (Elfenomeno online encyclopedia), now you can travel from Hobbiton to Mordor, from Rivendel to Erebor, with a simple click of your mouse, that activates an Ajax query, “painting” a file for each entry. Take a look!

  7. Has anyone thought of creating a Google Middle Earth? Of actually creating a Middle Earth replica that can be navigated like Google Earth. Elfenomeno.com is neat, but seeing it in 3-D would be awesome. Too much work?

  8. Join us at the biggest Lord Of The Rings Quiz ever made available on the internet. For this you register on the site and send it to all of your friends, because this film should never be forgotten! Join our Fellowship today! We welcome any lord of the rings fan who want to participate in this quiz game.

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