MapTime Glossary

D ~ G ~ K ~ M ~ S ~ T


Deep Time. Deep Time refers to the vastness of the geologic timescale. The formation of Earth occurred some 4.54 billion years ago. This is a timescale that is hard for the human mind to visualise - hence the MapTime approach of using Google Maps!.

Destination. The end point for your TimeRoute where the final TimePoint will be placed. Typically, the present day (represented in the default TimeLine by the creation of MapTime).


Google Earth. The original MapTime paper made use of Google Earth in place of Google Maps. Google Earth has a few more options for controlling the TimeRoute and we are currently looking into ways to export TimeRoutes from MapTime to open up in Google Earth.

Google Maps. Google Maps is a free, widely known service which lends itself perfectly to the MapTime concept and is free for non-profit use within the scope of the project.


Keyword. Each TimePoint is tagged with a number of keywords. These are predominantly to aid searching for custom TimeLine assembly.


MapTime. The MapTime project for visualising Deep Time using Google Maps, available at

MapTime Blog. A blog of all things MapTime available at blogspot.

MapTime Paper. The original paper: Parker, J. D. (2011) Using Google Earth to Teach the Magnitude of Deep Time. Journal of College Science Teaching 40(5): 23-27.

MapTimeline. (Obselete term.) See TimeRoute.


Starting Point. This refers to the first (oldest) TimePoint on the TimeLine. MapTime is designed to visualises a TimeLine as a journey that ends at the current location representing the present day.


TimeLine. A TimeLine is a collection of TimePoints, usually grouped by a particular theme. The Default TimeLine is Organic Evolution TimeLine based on the MapTime paper.

TimePoint. A TimePoint is an event on a TimeLine that will be mapped onto the appropriate place along the route. The youngest TimePoint is first placed at the destination of the route, the youngest is placed at the starting point and then the remaining points are spaced out according to scale along the route plotted by Google Maps.

TimeRoute. Once a TimeLine has been plotted on Google Maps, it is known as a TimeRoute.

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