The Software

What is Ancient Earth?

Ancient Earth is a simple application for mobile devices to show the basics of how the Earth's crust has evolved through time. Thus, it shows the positions of continents and, when appropriate, the ocean crust through geologic time.

How does it work?

Mapping Earth history presents some difficult problems. Modern mapping techniques for the modern world focus on a static world - the continents, oceans, islands, etc. don't move. However, over geologic time, continents move and change shape, ocean crust both grows at mid-ocean ridges and is destroyed by subduction, islands come and go, etc.. Thus, mapping Earth history requires powerful tools and techniques. Many such tools exist.

Working on mobile devices, Ancient Earth simplifies much of the technology required to move through geological time. First, Ancient Earth uses a series of high resolution static maps to represent different times in the past. These maps are summaries based on known geologic data, including paleomagnetism, paleontology, paleoclimatology, geology, and many other fields. Second, much of the mathematics used move pieces of crust on the Earth are used only for those times for which we have maps, minimizing the number of calculations required by the mobile device.

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