Quantcast

«

»

Feb 06 2013

Finally! My own personal time machine!

I’ve been playing with it for a while. It turns out that when you go back to Cretaceous Morris, you need to be able to swim really well, but Cambrian Morris is high and dry on a fairly small landmass (whoa, but oxygen is way down and carbon dioxide way up). You can have your own time machine, too — it’s the EarthViewer app for iPad, and it’s free from HHMI Here’s what it has:

• Data and continental reconstructions dating back billions of years

• Climate and carbon dioxide data for the last 100 years

• The ability to manipulate the globe and zoom to any location

• Track the location of modern cities back over 500 million years

• In depth features on major geological and biological events in Earth history

• Clickable details on geologic eons, eras, and periods

• Automated play modes

• An extensive reference list

• Suggestions for classroom use

• Tutorial videos

Did I mention that it’s free? This HHMI thing is pretty danged sweet.

11 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    DLC

    First off, you can’t track carbon back 100 years, because blather arglebargle tree rings!
    second, everyone knows the Earth can’t be more than 10,000 years old, so going back 500 million years is just a wasted effort ! arglebargle bafflegab God Said So.
    (now, if only I had an iPad, it sounds like a really cool app. )

  2. 2
    wilydairygnome

    This is the first thing I’ve ever read that’s made me really want an iPad. I need to find someone who will let me play with theirs. Right now.

  3. 3
    pentatomid

    Dammit. Who would have thought there is actually something out there that makes me want an iPad?

  4. 4
    Great American Satan

    This is a huge component of a project I’d be all up ons, if I was a college professor instead of an unemployed security guard.

    Phase II: Place all known fossil organisms in their appropriate place and time! (with caveats for margin of error in dating and so on). With that, we have a flippin’ time machine. It would be an awesome resource for artists and daydreamers like yours truly.

    The difficulty is that, despite the blinkered creationist view of things, the fossil record is so huge and extensive that collating all that data digitally is probably beyond the means of anybody who would be in a position to do so. It’s my understanding that most of the fossils in collections haven’t been formally described yet.

  5. 5
    irisvanderpluym

    The app is free. The iPad? Not so much.

  6. 6
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    Cool!

  7. 7
    Ichthyic

    needs android support.

  8. 8
    Olav

    It doesn’t need Android support either. It just needs to be made with standard web technologies.

  9. 9
    gijoel

    Agreed with Olav needs windows support

  10. 10
    David Marjanović

    The difficulty is that, despite the blinkered creationist view of things, the fossil record is so huge and extensive that collating all that data digitally is probably beyond the means of anybody who would be in a position to do so.

    Which is why the Paleobiology Database is a collaborative effort.

    It’s my understanding that most of the fossils in collections haven’t been formally described yet.

    Perhaps not “most”, but many do remain. I’m in the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin, and the “bone basement” contains unopened crates from before the First World War. I’ve been to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh and the National Museum of Natural History (part of the Smithsonian Institution) in DC, and they both have several shelves full of drawers of material that hasn’t been prepared or even catalogued, let alone described and published.

  11. 11
    David Marjanović

    several shelves full of drawers of material

    From the 1970s and 80s, I meant to add.

Comments have been disabled.