I am working on interacting with 'mash-up' info in the 3D world, concentrating on a few concepts:
- Representation, and interaction with spatial information in a 3D environment.
- Triggering real-world actions from a 3D interface.
- Creating visualizations of real-world information using primatives in Second Life.
There are a few things going on in this pic. See that small green sphere above the map? That's a SecondLife part of SlIcer. It's an object sensor/hub. This thing scans for objects in range, and sends an inventory up to the RL server with key, object name, and position. I'm standing on a big map, and on this map are 'counters' for real world objects. The counter closest to me on the right is a representation of a communications truck with a balloon antenna. This has a known name, and using SlIicer, I can hook up a GPS signal from the truck, get the lat/long, as well as other information, and push it into SL to move the truck counter on the map as the real truck moves. It's hard to see, but the object has a balloon that deploys as the real-world balloon deploys. People collaborating on the map in Second Life can walk around, point, etc. This has a couple of benefits:
- Collaborators in Second Life are able to point, position their avatars, and refer to objects on the maps. This is not possible with other forms of collaboration.
- Situational information is presented as ambient information. In a funny way, you can create virtual physical devices representing virtual data. How cool is that? As a side-line, our work with AmbientDevices orbs is going to merge in here too, where an orb can reflect information about what is happening in the virtual space.
Anyhow, here's another mash-up, attempting to do visualization of data. If only you could load textures on prims dynamically from a URL! This pic shows a tropical storm mash-up. It's a mock-up right now, as I look for a good data source. The idea would be to parse a data stream, such as RSS, that shows current tropical depressions and hurricanes, and depict them on a map. Also shown is a fly-out I'm working on. As it operates now, you click on a storm, and the fly-out rezzes. The flyout uses prims to depict intensity (the red bar), storm directions (the compass rose and pointer), and storm track speed (the blue bar). If I can find a data feed, this could be wrapped up into a stand-alone mash-up!
The storms are prims too, in (real) Second Life they spin and stuff, way cool. It's dumb stuff like that that amuses us programmers.