Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Second Earth, the long MIT Technology Review story (registration required) opens with the weather map created by Jeffrey Corbin of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Denver. "The map I am standing on belongs to NOAA, and it covers a 12-by-20-meter square of lawn on a large virtual island in Second Life." In the end, author Wade Roush says
In the course of my research for this story, I bought land in Second Life, built a house, filled it with furniture, bought and razed the adjoining land, lifted my house a hundred meters into the sky to get it out of the way, and began work on a bigger house. I was also befriended by dozens of Second Life residents, several of whom I now know better than my real neighbors. Most were delighted to hear about my story, to tell me how they're spending their second lives, and to show me their own creations, including a hot-dog-shaped airplane and an animated Tibetan prayer wheel.
Yesterday's TR interview with Peter Norvig, Google's Director of Research, on the Future of Search, also points to how people interact with Google and interact with each other on the Web.

Even if you are not especially interested in Second Life, the article is a great example of using the full capacity of the web to convey information. While the print version of the article is certainly available online for registered users, the web version is rich with related videos, SLURLs, SL images, comments and links to dozens of institutions, projects and individuals.

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