Story at a glance
- A digital map of the Earth goes back 750 million years through the extinction of the dinosaurs.
- Users can enter a city name to see what it looked like several centuries ago.
- Ian Webster, the co-founder and lead engineer at Zenysis, helped create the map for the Dinosaur Database.
As scientists try to understand how the world might change in the next few decades, history might have a clue or two.
A digital map of the Earth goes back 750 million years — just a fraction of the 4.5 billion years the planet is estimated to be of age — even before the Cryogenian Period, when glaciers were thought to cover the entire planet. You can jump back to see what the Earth looked like when the first green algae, coral reefs, land animals and dinosaurs appeared on Earth — all the way through when the last dinosaur went extinct.
Ian Webster, the co-founder and lead engineer at Zenysis, helped create the map for the Dinosaur Database, "the internet's largest" such database. The project is one of several of Webster's that map outer space, including a database of all known asteroids, 3-dimensional models and other digital maps.
The engineer has been updating the map for several years after publishing it in 2018.
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