The meteorite that struck central Russia last week, which injured around 1,000 people as it broke apart over a section of the Ural Mountains and sent shockwaves across the ground below, was but one of thousands that have impacted our planet over the past four millennia. Now you can see the location of every recorded meteorite impact on Earth going back to 2,300 BCE all in one heat map created by Javier de la Torre, cofounder of geo software companies Vizzuality and CartoDB.
De la Torre created the map using CartoDB's mapping software, which relies on the free crowdsourced OpenStreetMap for its base layer. The meteorite impact site data — 34,513 individual points of impact in total — came from the Meteoritical Society, an international nonprofit scientific collaboration. De La Torre was inspired by a map The Guardian newspaper created on its website using the same data.
"I did it in 30 minutes," de la Torre explained of his map to The Verge in an email. "I think lot of people got curious about meteorites after the Russian one. I think it is very interesting to learn about them by looking where they fall down. Obviously, this map does not necessarily tell us where they fall down more, probably that's on the poles, but it is curious to learn about the biggest ones in history... if people get interested on learning more science with maps like this it will be awesome."
De la Torre also published a video recapping how he created his meteorite strike map.