Interactive Map Lets You Plug In Your Address To See How Your Area Has Changed Over the Past 750 Million Years
The older we get, the more we see things change all around us. We see housing developments pop up on what used to be open, wild land. We see buildings get torn down and the land repurposed into something else. We see changes that we don’t always like.
It only takes a few years to see the world change around us which sometimes leads us to wonder just how much the world has changed since time began. Have you ever thought and wondered what the world looked like millions of years ago? If orange groves are now movie studios and farm land is now a shopping mall, surely even greater changes happened since the time of the dinosaurs.
In honor of Earth Day, we have a treat for you. We have found an interactive map that lets you enter a city name and see exactly how things have changed since as far back as 750 million years ago. You could enter the city where you live or any city at all. Try Los Angeles, New York, London, or Sydney, just to name a few.
One fun way to interact with the map after entering a city name is to scroll through time using the arrow keys on your keyboard. You can literally see the world change right before your eyes in a matter of seconds.
All the way back to 750 million years ago, Earth looked a lot different than it does today. Eventually, around 250 million years ago, one main continent called Pangea emerged. Later Pangea separated and formed the continents we know today.
While the visuals are amazing, we also love that this interactive map also includes a little information about the time period. In the left bottom corner of the screen, there are a few sentences that describe the time we are looking at to help give some context. For example, when we navigate to 170 million years ago, we learn that this is the Jurassic Period. We also learn, “Dinosaurs thrived as the first mammals and birds evolved. Ocean life diversified and the Earth was very warm.”
Ever wonder what the planet looked like when dinosaurs became extinct? We can see that too. Dinosaur extinction occurred around 66 million years ago during the late Cretaceous. “A mass extinction occurs, leading to the extinction of dinosaurs, many marine reptiles, all flying reptiles, and many marine invertebrates and other species. Scientists believe the extinction was caused by an asteroid impact on the present-day Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.”
This interactive map was the idea of Ian Webster. He created the map with data from the PALEOMAP Project. Webster told Hacker News that he created the map because he was “amazed that geologists collected enough data to actually plot my home 750 [million] years ago, so I thought you all would enjoy it too.”
You can check out this interactive map for yourself here.