The Geography of second life

Second Life

Are you one of the addicted citizens of Second Life yet ? For those not familiar with it, Second Life is an on-line virtual world, in which you can interact with a community of 100,000 users from all around the world.

The reason Second Life is generating so much buzz at the moment, it is this week on the cover of Business Week, is that, it is the first of these virtual communities to offer a fully developed financial system based on (virtual) land ownership.

The world of second life
Second Lifers can develop businesses which offer goods and services to other residents for financial compensation in Linden Dollars , which may be exchanged for real currency at a number of third party currency exchanges.
Over time particular real estate in the second life world will develop to mirror the real world, there will be challenges of rich (you can buy your own island – a dedicated Linux server for $1250 dollars and sub-let land parcels) and poor areas , High growth areas, red light districts, all the problems for which GIS technology in the real world is deployed to manage.

So I am off to start thinking about building the mapping agency of second life, now I wonder if I should charge for its products…. or perhaps a web mapping tool funded by Second Life business advertising.

3 replies on “The Geography of second life”

I would say if you’re the only game in town you can run both lines of business. Charge the commercial companies for your data for use in marketing, and charge advitisers for your slippy map services. Brilliant idea by the way, can I be your start-up partner?

Hey Ed, look me up, My SL name is Ravishal Bentham. I do GIS in real life and if you are serious about doing it in SL then give me a ring. I’d like to help you out.

I think you are on to something. My overwhelming impression of SL as a new user has been that I am *lost*. Having an entire world to explore anew, but having no map is quite disconcerting. I’m not speaking of the map view in SL, which is not so much a map as a reduced resolution version of the world. I’m talking about having a cartographic representation of the world that loads quickly, points out the highlights, and shows a generalized view. Sure, you could introduce the concept of themes, as in GIS, but what we really need right now is the equivalent of a road map.

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