Software engineer, Kevin Gill, had a question; if you gave Mars and Earth-like atmosphere, some oceans and plants, what would it look like? He tried to find the answer to his question in his project A Living Mars.
Gill admits that his project wasn’t “intended as an exhaustive scientific scenario,” but the images he created were astonishing. Gill created the model of Mar’s terrain in his own learning program, jDem846. He took that model into GIMP and added features into the land. He tried to figure where certain places on Mars would be desert, jungle, cold climates, etc. By Olympus Mons and the volcanoes around it he painted desert terrain with textures taken from the Sahara dessert and some parts of Australia. When he got higher or lower in latitude he added tundra, glacial ice, forests, etc. and continued on like this throughout his depiction of an Earth-like Mars.
The images Gill created are based on NASA’s Blue Marble: Next Generation imagery. Compare the images he created to Mars as it is today below.