Jun 15 2007

Berkurodam 1.1 has been attained

Published by at 2338h under BART Station,SL In General,Vision Statement

Nothing like a user conference to motivate poster production! Somehow the chance to share work with perhaps 20,000+ eyeballs at the San Diego Convention Center always adds a bit to the excitement. There are now eight 3-foot by 4-foot color posters that emphasize shots of the progress made on the land surface, buildings, street signs, street lighting, sidewalk lighting, and foliage.

Oh, and there’s one other panel that has SL snapshot images for decoration, but is really a little manifesto of the importance of metaverses (in 2007) to the future of spatial systems.

This is Darb’s manifesto posted for attendees in the Map Gallery of the ESRI International User Conference in the Sail Room of the San Diego Convention center, 18–22 June 2007
The attendees are geographic information systems professionals, managers, and supporting industry folk who largely work with maps, map servers, and related technology for a living.


Metaverses are immersive 3D computer graphics platforms
– They are not too much like 2-1/2D raised terrain or globes.
– Their objects may not support the vertex model of GIS or CAD,
but use parametric points or U-V maps and raster textures instead
– Through a viewer or other tools, metaverses immerse the user into the 3D model.
– An immersed user is as likely to look up or under as a globe user is to look downward.

If the metaverse holds a model built honoring GIS data, then a metaverse might
– Place the user into the map
– Allow one to stroll through a geodatabase
– Publish spatial data in real-time 3D for very many simultaneous users

Metaverses can allow massively simultaneous at-will rendering in near-real time
– As an example, Second Life is built on grid computing with >5000 processor cores
– Second life spatial data are integrated parametric point objects and raster textures
(34 Terabytes as of 5 May 2007)
– Second life supports over 40,000 simultaneous users worldwide with streaming audio and video.
Integrated VOIP is in beta.

Open-source options exist for single regions, and are developing for grids
– Second Life’s producer, Linden Lab, has announced plans to open source their server code
– This would allow cost of hardware / server power / model development to become the
limiting factors for a civic-scale metaverse
– City of Berkeley could stand up a 1:1 scale immersive model on about 512 processor cores,
or 1k cores with a redundant grid

Metaverses typically include a physics engine
– this manages object collisions and optionally provides gravity and
– in Second Life, the physics engine in each processor core handles collisions among
up to 15,000 objects in the core’s region.
– the engine does so at 40 Hz (forty cycles per second) to allow rendering throughout
the region as real-time movies for each client.

Metaverses will change your data center expectations
– There will be a desire to build out grid computing
– Performance will be tied to processor cores, while most related resources such as
system memory and disk storage (per core) are not exceptional
– In metavserses, the simulated space expands linearly with the number of regions in your grid.
Second life has 64K square meters, about 16 acres, at 1:1 scale, for each processor core
– people interested in grid computing are very interested in having processors with more cores
– these people may be equally uninterested in having operating system costs, or even server application costs, scale with the number of cores

SL Darb Dabney, Berkeley, California 20070615

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