See our code here, and play the game here!


We wanted to make an interactive and educational experience that gets people to think about the magnitude of Earth time scales, the evolution of life, and the human impact towards the ongoing sixth mass extinction.

What it does

This interactive web page walks users through the 4 billion year history of Earth by allowing users to populate the Earth with new life as it evolves. Users gain insight into concepts such as continental drift, historic mass extinctions, etc.

How We built it

This web application is built using the ArcGIS API for JavaScript. The plate tectonics data is pulled from a public ArcGIS Image Service managed by the Esri Application Prototype Lab.

Challenges We ran into

  • Plate tectonics data only goes back 200 million year ago
  • Time-enabled querying of ArcGIS services is not supported for timescales of hundreds of millions of years
  • We had to learn about 4 billion years of natural history in 3 days

Accomplishments that We're proud of

  • We were able to work together and create a fully functioning web game in 3 days
  • We were able to visually show plate tectonic movements

What We learned

  • 4 billion years of Earth natural history, mass extinctions, evolution of life on earth, etc.
  • Technical details about the ArcGIS API for JavaScript and ArcGIS Image Services

What's next for the Evolution of Life

  • Game improvements and bug fixes
  • Explore more granular details about Earth history -- subphyla of species, more ancient plate tectonic data, etc.

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