Geography 970

March 11, 2010

Cartography for Metaverse

Filed under: Uncategorized — Fei Du @ 1:27 pm

“When virtual worlds meet geospatial maps of the planet? When simulations get real and life and business go virtual? When you use a virtual Earth to navigate the physical Earth, and your avatar becomes your online agent?”

These are some questions proposed in the beginning of metaverse road map report. As geographers or cartographers, these seem quite critical questions that we should think carefully about. Metaverse refers to virtual worlds that serve as digital equivalents to the atom-based physical world. According to the report, it is a result of four key converging components:

  1.  Mirror worlds: digital representations of the physical world, such as Google Earth.
  2.  Virtual worlds: virtual models or “reflections” of the physical world, such as Second Life
  3.  Augmented reality: superimposing other information on top of our everyday perception of the world
  4.  Lifelogging: the capture, storage and distribution of everyday experiences and information for objects and people, such as Twitter, Facebook.

I think this is a very clear classification.  Current Cartography and GIS focus almost exclusively on the components of mirror worlds. We should think more about how to extend our knowledge and skills to represent and analyze interesting phenomena in other component as well as how to integrate them together, such as the location based mobile game I posted before, or Second Earth which tries to integrate Google Earth and Second Life.

The final project we are working, I believe, is a point of penetration. One interesting topic would be: which is the best way to represent virtual connections on a mirror world map.

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