After an ill-advised binge-watching incident a couple of years back, I became obsessed with "Game of Thrones" - both the acclaimed HBO series and the original epic fantasy novels by author George R. R. Martin, "A Song of Ice and Fire." I tried plowing through the books, but soon became hopelessly lost in the story's infamous scope and complexity. I didn't blink for nine days straight, and I think I sprained a frontal lobe.
So I could have really used this interactive "Game of Thrones" map, which renders the vast continents of Westeros and Essos in familiar Google Maps format, with all manner of useful tools and overlays. Assembled by hardcore "Game of Thrones" fans (are there any other kind?), the map is designed to orient followers of the TV series or the book series, using the familiar Google Maps interface.
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Toggle between "Chapters" or "Episodes" and the interactive map switches to accommodate, adjusting the ingenious "Spoilers" sliding pop-up tool. Simply indicate the book chapter or series episode you're currently at, and the map automatically obscures locations and map elements that might spoil future story developments.
From there, you can explore the map's other tools. The "Show Regions" buttons identify which noble house currently controls which city or region. "Show Character Paths" traces the travels of two dozen major characters. Click on a particular location, and you're shuttled to the vast fan-administered wiki project, "A Wiki of Ice and Fire."
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It's a clever and generous piece of work, useful for anyone brave enough to grapple with the impossibly huge fictional world of "Game of Thrones." I applaud the civic engagement - if we're going to wrap our heads around this thing, we have to work together.