Biology, programming, linguistics, phylogeny, systematics....
You're right. I liked the last one, but had difficulty visually translating some of the dots onto the map this one is easier.Any way to make it rotatable about all axes? Not sure if it would be helpful or an eyesore, but color-coding dots by taxon might be interesting.
Those are two things I'm going to be looking into. Not sure about color-coding, but I might try adding phylogenetic connectors.
I also think this version is better...but shouldn't you update the coastlines as you move through time?
Updating coastlines would be cool, but then I'd also have to shift the localities. It gets pretty complex pretty fast. Think of this as more of a guide to where the remains were found.Of course, I suppose the localities wouldn't be that different for this puny timescale.
Although, dammit, now you have me pondering how to accomplish this.The easiest thing would be to make distortion matrices for given time periods, and tween them. But this wouldn't account for elevation changes or sea level changes. I'm not sure what to do about that.How do people go abut producing paleo-maps, anyway?
I wouldn't even worry about elevation changes; I'd just look up some decent continental outlines from relevant sources and tween major landmarks.
...erm, "landmarks" in the topological sense of the word...
But then how do you move the locality positions to match?I suppose you could do a distortion matrix AND a coastline animation as separate, but combinable, projects. Hmm, that could work. Of course, it would be a huge amount of work....
Well, yes and no. To be sure, it's not a trivial amount of work, but I'd just anchor the whole thing on Africa (sense 75% of the data is from there) and by the time the fossils start showing up in Asia and then Europe the continents themselves are awfully close to their current positions, it's more coast-line changes due to sea elevation, etc that is altering appearances. So you might be able to ignore fossil locality motion altogether if you're at all lucky (and probably have minimal movement, even if not) and just have to worry about showing how the continents move position during the long tenure of our ancestors in Africa, and just continue the animation of the coast lines during more recent history.
True, but now I'm thinking about how this would be extended to time spans where tectonic drift does significantly change the positions of localities.