See How Humans Have Reshaped the Globe With This Interactive Atlas

Zoomable maps reveal the scope of humanity’s influence on Earth—and the innovations aiming to create a more sustainable future

From deforestation to irrigation to species loss, the expanding human population has been dramatically re-shaping the face of the Earth. The interactive maps above bring together a wealth of satellite imagery and other data sets to create an atlas of humanity’s influence on the planet. Zoom in to see regional effects, or click through some selected examples, including a gallery of international extinctions and a virtual tour of the world’s protected sites.

At the same time, projects are underway to make our species more resilient to a changing world and to make our activities both secure and sustainable. Explore a sampling of sites around the United States via maps that reveal innovations such as dedicated bicycle networks, in-land desalination plants and lush rooftop gardens. 

Get the latest Science stories in your inbox.