Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mapping the Anthropocene

Came across this video on Vimeo a few days back..

Anthropocene Mapping from Globaïa on Vimeo.

been reading up on it since then.. finally decided to post about it for posterity. :coffee:

This visually rich project is about mapping the Anthropocene period of the Quaternary.
"Globaïa is a global education organization whose mission is to foster a consistent and informed participation of citizens in environmental issues by understanding the multiple dimensions of today's world and its likely future." -source

In plain English:
The Quaternary is a period of the Earth's history that has undergone numerous (and cyclical) glaciations, starting 2,588,000 years ago (2.588 Ma). The Quaternary is divided into three epochs: the Pleistocene, the Holocene, and now the Anthropocene. A more detailed description of all three can be found at the project page here.

The project has generated maps that chart the various things that have actually altered the face of our planet.. be they industrial, environmental or any other form.. most are of course human triggered like: cities, paved and unpaved roads, railways, power lines, pipelines, cable Internet, airlines, shipping lanes.

The creators have been careful to depict only fraction of the artifacts that are present in reality. The actual data would render the maps for things like roads nearly opaque blobs.

heres an example of one of the maps,
Eurasia, a Prodigal Continent

the same map with the air traffic overlay :yikes:

head over to for the rest

No comments: