New Map Lets You Track Where Your City Or Town Located On Earth 750 Million Years Ago

Have you ever wondered what the world around your hometown was like during the Cretaceous , when the tyrannosaur roamed? How about before then, when Earth had only one supercontinent?

Now you’ll determine.

An interactive map developed by programmer Ian Webster lets users track the locations of modern-day landmarks back many many years.

If you type within the name of your hometown or current city, the map can pinpoint its location on the earth in given era, going back 750 million years.

New York City, for ex, formed a part of the Rodinia supercontinent 750 million years ago.

Webster map relies on the work of geologist & palaeogeographer Christopher Scotese, who created his own chronological map in 1998 that charts how tectonic plates shifted throughout earth’s history.

The planet’s continents are constantly moving due to these 15-20 plates, which successively lie on Earth’s mantle, the layer above the core. Heat from within the core causes these plates to maneuver , sometimes towards one another & sometimes away. As a result, the continents of today look very different than they did a couple of 100 million years ago.

Webster told Business Insider that he got the thought to create the interactive map while studying tectonic plates. “The science was fascinating, but you had to download & install in special scientific software to explore the result, “ he said. So he decided to form that data more accessible.

Not all places on our current-day planet show up far into the past in Webster’s map, since the geological formations on which they rest might not have developed or emerged yet. as an example , Seattle, Washington, partially rests on the modern-day Juan de Fuca tectonic plate, which originated from formations that emerged around 250 million years ago. Thus, it only becomes trackable starting round the 240-million-year mark. At that time , Seattle was a part of Pangaea. (It’s the red dot within the image below.)

Approx. location of what is now Seattle, Washington, 240 million years ago
Approx. location of what is now Seattle, Washington, 240 million years ago
Source : businessinsider

New York City, on the opposite hand, was located within the middle of Rodinia 750 million years ago:

Location of present day New York City about 750 million years ago
Location of present day New York City about 750 million years ago
Source :

Then 470 million years ago, near the top of the first Ordovician, New York’s land was in an ocean.

The map doesn’t provide many granular details about specific places during a given period of history, but it does offer snapshots of life on Earth over time. as an example , the 1st dinosaurs emerged about 220 million ago, as Earth recovered from a mass extinction event.

The map also includes a partial list of fossils found near a given town or city. Around NW , for instance , paleontologists have found fossils of the pteranodon, a flying, kite-like reptile with a wingspan of 20 feet.

Meanwhile, near Green , Wyoming, remnants of Triceratops are discovered. Webster told Business Insider that he wants teachers, students, & anyone curious about the history & science of Earth to use his map. “I hope that it’ll inspire curiosity about our planet’s past & ongoing natural processes,” he said.

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