Feb 03 2009

SIMGIS Move: OpenSim for workbench, SL for presentation

Published by under Marin Civic Center,Scale Issues

Down in the “basement” a server awaits a bit of configuration to become an OpenSim lab to support the Marin Civic Center development.  How nice it would be to load terrain into a portion of a Second Life region, but alas–it seems unavailable to those of us without Estate controls.  The 1:1.00 scale terrain will need to be calculated to back the base ortho-image that has already been tiled over the site as shown in the last blog posting.  I have verified that one of the 40-meter sphere oversize prims in my inventory can be rebuilt into a massive terrain sculptie.  Placing a 32×32 sampling (30×30 at most that are usable for terrain) of 1-meter terrain samples will give me a guide, and then I’ll just need to diddle with the SL client bulldozer tool to approximate the terrain prim, before disposing of it.

Thanks to the frequent updates of the region map at SLURL.com, I can already see some of the build taking shape.  On the second image below I sketched my virtual moving van’s path from Gualala to Stanford.  To aid overview map navigation and VFR-flying avatars, I have constructed a large readable sky label in crude imitation of the long-standing skywriting by SL resident Web Page in region Da_Boom.

Da Boom -- probably named after De Boom

Da Boom — probably named after De Boom

From that origin, the old Gualala locale was at region grid (1008,998), and the new Stanford site is at region grid (1006,1000).

The heart of the old SL Mainland

The heart of the old SL Mainland

Oddly enough, Stanford appears to be the fourth-oldest region, according to this relatively ancient map.

Second Life regions 2002 11 21

Second Life regions 2002 11 21

On the ground, I’m still in process on some lot line adjustment I’d like to make before breaking ground. The terrain sculptie method has been proven, although I have yet to grid actual terrain values for the project site. Also, I’m trying to minimize RL dimension measurements if possible, by using best available historical information on the RL site.

Some things have changed in SL viewers in the last few months. About a year ago, it was possible to take an oversize prim and modify a single dimension, having that snap to 10 meters. Currently, any change in a dimension of an oversize prim results in all three dimensions snapping to values less than or equal to 10 meters. It’s a new challenge, but can be managed. Still, once a builder has tasted the freedom of OpenSim, it is awfully hard not to chafe at those sorts of restrictions.

I’m giving thought to a copy of Second Inventory to facilitate the use of OpenSim for dev and SL for production, but the issue of prim size shrinking will be a big issue for me.

Curiously, I have found that physical prims to not drop to the ground in Stanford.  This has never been the case in Gualala, so I’m intrigued and opened a ticket with Linden Lab.  I’ll see what they say. Meanwhile, I’ll keep my eye on the sky for the project’s mark (in the old ceneter of OUTLANDS)

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Oct 28 2008

Glimpses of Berkurodam in Second Life for GIS Day

The 10th annual GIS day is arriving on 2008 11 19, and an article on the techniques that I’ve been blogging may be published on that day. In anticipation of that article, I’ve taken some time to upload selected strips of the Open Berkurodam model that has been built at 1:1.024 scale on 40 OpenSim simulator regions to Second Life. In that way, many more people may find this work and take a closer look.

In the article are three terms I’m suggesting be used for work that involves translation of GIS data into immersive 3D simulator environments: Level 1 build, Level 2 build, and Level 3 build. Level 1 is like Google Earth or MS Virtual Earth, basically bare earth gridded terrain with draped orthoimagery. Level 2 is what I’ve got as a placeholder in the Open Berkurodam 40-region 1:1-scale build, with a reflective LiDAR gridded surface draped with orthoimagery. Level 3 is just standard immersive 3D vector features that fill so much of Second Life, but in the special case of an immersive 3D build based on GIS-grade scaled mapping of building exteriors and possibly interiors.

The Level 3 build was what inspired my efforts starting back in October 2006 (Darb Dabney just has his second Rez-day celebration), but the Level 2 seems like the most important one for actual civic builds, because the grid of LiDAR data brings full-scale, full coverage data to hold the place and fill the mass of both buildings and trees, until one can afford to create the Level 3 build.

So now at the SIMGIS land in Stanford, there is both a Level 1 model (bare earth terrain with draped orthoimagery) of the entire 40-region sim at a reduced 1:42 scale, as well as a Level 2 model (gridded LiDAR first-return surface with draped orthoimagery) from the Berkeley BART station up Center Street, and on to the UC Berkeley Campus at Mulford Hall at a reduced 1:16 scale. It’s fun to see these tiny models, and it helps to convey some of the value that OpenSim offers those of us who would publish entire cities. A copy of these two models has also been placed in Amida, just across the channel from Gualala.

My selection of that path between BART and Mulford Hall was made to offer an entertaining Level 2 swath for those who would be taking transit to an ASPRS – BAAMA – GIF GIS Day event.

First the view in Second Life from Amida toward Gualala, with my Level 1 (1:42 scale), Level 2 (1:16 scale), and Level 3 (1:3 scale) (full immersive vector features with interiors) models of the downtown Berkkeley BART area. Second is the view of the SIMGIS Stanford site, with the same Level 1 (1/42-scale) and Level 2 (1/16-scale) builds.

Level 1 (1/42 scale) at base, Level 2 (1/16 scale) and Level 3 (1/3 scale) in distance

Level 1 (1/42 scale) at base, Level 2 (1/16 scale) and Level 3 (1/3 scale) in distanceAnd here's a view of the new SIMGIS Stanford region site, as viewed from Hawthorne region. The Level 1 model 1/42-scale is just above the water, and the Level 2 model 1/16-scale is above it.

Level 1 (1/42-scale) above water, and Level 2 (1/16-scale) above that.

Level 1 (1/42-scale) above water, and Level 2 (1/16-scale) above that.

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