An online interactive map created by a California paleontologist allows people to see how their hometown has moved over hundreds of millions of years of continental drift.
Ian Webster, who designed the map, said it was “designed to inspire charm and hopefully respect the scientists who work every day to better understand our world and its past.”
Webster designed the interactive map using a web application that borrows geological models from geologist and paleographer Christopher Scottese.
The map allows users to enter anywhere – their hometown, for example – and then see where it has been for the past 750 million years.
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“My software ‘geocodes’ the user’s location and then uses (Scottish) models to take their location back in time,” Webster told CNN. “I built the interactive globe visualization and GPates geocoding and integration myself so that people could get involved in their own locations.”
The map even shows what dinosaurs roamed nearby, as well as when the first flower bloomed.
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“The map also contains funny surprises, such as how the United States was divided by a shallow sea, the Appalachians were very high mountains comparable to the Himalayas, and that Florida was submerged,” Webster said.