Is there a verb that combines the sense of explore as well as transforming that which you are exploring? For instance, if I want to describe an explorer who also changed the lands he visited, is there a way to combine that into a single word? The closest I can think of is 'plunder' or perhaps 'raid', but they have negative connotations, and imply taking what isn't yours. I want one that is morally neutral.
The word 'quarry' is close, but again implies taking things. But what I want is more general, that could apply to Johnny Appleseed (who made the world better), but also to a marauder who takes things.