Maps go 3D: Nokia opens Ovi Maps

May 25, 2009

Not too much information but some impressive outsights here:

and here.

and a browser version here which looks a bit like Google Maps on Steroids.

Note to self: register and try.

(via ZDnet and others)

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MetaMeets 09

May 24, 2009

MetaMeets09 ended successfully. At first I feared I wouldn’t be able to make it but then MrTopf and me entered the car and went to wonderful Amsterdam. He was life blogging most of the time which makes a great read-up. We left on Saturday somewhat earlier.

I met several very interesting and fun people. The organisation was perfect especially regarding that it was their first time putting this all together. The only thing that probably nobody thought about was a tweet wall, but people were on twitter most of the time and formed a second communication channel.

The talks were interesting and despite the fact that the Lindens wouldn’t come it was very Second Life-y as was to be expected.  That’s why I liked the contrast that was introduced by ActiceWorlds‘s MD Emmanuel P. Gruijs. Active Worlds is a feature complete, very affordable out of the box solution that has been here for ages and proved to be a valid solution for many companies including IBM which uses it for meetings with 50+ guests as was explained by David van Gent in his talk.

In the evening I bought a CD from Xander Nichting and saw him play live with a couple of others in an Irish Pub (the Molly Malone) in Amsterdam – a remarkable event that was streamed live into the Blarney Stone in SecondLife hosted by Ham Rambler.

Dizzy Banjo, Bartholomew Kleiber and Bevan Whitfield in their RL avatars

Dizzy Banjo, Bartholomew Kleiber and Bevan Whitfield in their RL avatars. I seem to find this amusing.

I ripped this pic from MrTopfs Flickr stream (mine is here) showing some dude next to Dizzy Banjo and Bevan Whitfield.

Thanks from me to all people attending, I had a great time!


Google Earth based Serious Game (sort of …)

May 20, 2009

It is already written down in english in over at RockPaperShotgun and at Schockwellenreiter in german (I ‘borrowed’ the screenshot from there, I hope that’s ok) so I just link to them here.

Airships in Google Earth (from Schockwellenreiter)

Airships in Google Earth (from Schockwellenreiter)

Basically you can steer an airship over Google Earth maps – which would be even nicer if there would be a way to get the Ophelia in. Which is – as we all know – the pirate airship of Captain Robert and his (in)famous crew of the steampunk band Abney Park which I hereby relentlessly plug.

Click on Airship Pirates to listen to my favorite song :-).


Procedural City

May 15, 2009

PixelCity is a fantastic project done by Shamus Young, who did something that I wanted to do for a long time and after a couple of unsatisfying experiments postponed this into the future:

He had the guts to not only succeed but also document this in an 11 part story into his blog which is well worth reading in its entirety.

The hint came from the Digital Urban Blog and it seems they got the link from FlowingData and I deliberately steal the text from Digital Urban by reciting:

Shamus Young of Twenty Sided has a fantastic walk through of creating a Procedural City, complete with source code. Shamus’s goals were to create a night time cityscape that made predominantly of of lights and suggestions rather than real detail.

and

The city is entirely procedurally generated, no art assets, textures or models are used – which makes for a really interesting approach, especially from our point of view of always starting from the basic model/texture and building up to the cityscape.

I could do this of course even better but just not in this century. I think.


Serious Game in Second Life: kitchen fire simulation on swiss projects

May 9, 2009

As was blogged before, we (i.e. Pixelpark) are supporting a german academy for fire workers (i.e. Landesfeuerwehrschule Hamburg) for simulations in Second Life. This academy is running trainings in SL on the Pixelpark Islands. Simulations can be considered a subset of serious games in my definition.

An advanced and very much tough through simulation was created by swiss projects. They developed a simulation room that resembles a kitchen where a meal is prepared. After some time there is a fire starting in the kitchen – a typical situation that fire workers encounter.

Now it’s your turn: you have to put out the fire, of course but how? The nice thing about this implementation of the fire is that it behaves realistic i.e. different regarding to what you do; the simulation is very detailed in terms of that you have to be careful.

There are several conditions that make things worse instead of better – but why not try out yourself?
Check out the great image stream that Carina Raymaker prepared for a preview or go inworld and check out the simulation yourself.

Here is a corresponding swiss-projects blog entry (german). Good job, guys!

PS: thank goes out again to Carina Raymaker from the SL group Deutsche Mentoren (their blog in german) for risking her avatars life (I think) to document this in pictures.

[EDIT] Here is the corresponding full description (german) from her.