In what is quite possibly the coolest online movie tie-in / marketing / Google Experiment to date, it looks as if you’ll be able to explore the world of ‘The Hobbit’ via a Chrome extension in ‘A Journey through Middle-Earth’. It’s very Google Earth meets Middle-Earth, assuming you upped the interactivity of Google Earth by about 100% and added a slew of features. Zoom in through the various landscapes of the world of ‘The Hobbit’ to find out more details on where Bilbo’s journey takes him.

Not only can you find out about a ton of information for each area, but you can find out more about the characters who also end up passing through that location, who they are and what they are looking for. Also included are bonus pieces of artwork of scenery and monsters that are gloriously rendered as well as interactive games to enjoy. You can check out ‘A Journey Through Middle-Earth’ in the video below:

I’ve been complaining for awhile now that they need to run more than just character posters for promoting ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug‘ and being able to see Beorn’s House and this kind of an interactive website is exactly the kind of thing I had in mind! While there are only three locations immediately available: The Trollshaw Forest, Rivendell and Dol Guldur, there are others that will soon be unlocked such as Thranduil’s Hall. Most likely continued content will be unlocked closer to the film’s release and possibly through the third film as well.

Inspired by the epic fantasy adventure “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” “A Journey Through Middle-earth,” is a new Chrome Experiment that brings the locations and characters from “The Hobbit” Trilogy to life with a mix of modern web technologies. The film, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, will be released worldwide December 13, 2013, from Warner Bros. Pictures and MGM.

The online experience, developed by North Kingdom in collaboration with the studios, takes fans through an adventure that unfolds across an interactive map of Middle-earth. Users can zoom in to explore Trollshaw Forest, Rivendell and Dol Guldur, with new locations set to be added in the weeks ahead. Each destination on the map gives the visitor access to its history and the characters who inhabit it, or presents unique survival challenges in which fans can test their wits.

With immersive 3D graphics built with CSS3 and WebGL, “Journey Through Middle-earth” is the first Chrome Experiment designed to bring this beautiful, 3D experience to mobile, with technology support for WebGL in Chrome for Android on devices with high-end graphics cards. Although WebGL isn’t supported on iOS, Chrome users can still experience most of “Journey Through Middle-earth” on their iPhones and iPads.

Are you more excited to see promotional material like this or are you a fan of posters and trailers when it comes to getting excited about a new film?

Source: Coming Soon