Twinverse, planet earth as a Virtual World

Google maps meets Second Life, is the way it should be described in very short. But that is no-way covering the whole story.

At first login, after assigning with a name, location and a picture, the application looks like an ordinary Google Map with my name on it. From here, the first thing to be done, is to find my home, or any place I would like to call home, on the map and click on my own thumbnail image. A menu appears and one of the options is “Establish my Home here”, which gives a starting point and a place to return to if one gets lost. This all might seem rather basic, but the fun starts, when other people start the same. When ‘travelling’ around the globe one finds many other homes of other participants and also their thumbnail avatar. When meeting another, you get the immediate chance to start chatting with each other and getting acquintant. A faster way to meet new people is hardly possible.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Two years ago it all started with the idea, to make a virtual world, using the real globe and as such, using Google Maps as a grid. Internauting on the website of Twinverse, it becomes very clear that it was meant to be a globe-based virtual environment based on peer-to-peer technology, which uses the computers of the users who are connected to the application, in stead of one or more servers. This is the main difference between Twinverse and for example Second Life, which is almost all server based. Also it was meant to be in 3D, like most other virtual world are already.
Another feature that is very interesting, is under the tab “user content” and shows, in chronological order, all text, photo’s and video’s that have been added by users to the maps, by using “maptags”. Readers who are more interested in the technical details will enjoy Joaquin Keller’s blog “In the Computronium“.

It was just bad luck perhaps, that nobody was interested to download the software and start using the application. According to Jamal B, who is one of the creators, it was because of this that they have changed their plans for a while and have started with this webbased application in 2D, like it is now.

But the dream is not over, it is just getting started. Although many features still have to get finished and a lot of wishes are still to be fullfilled, the strongest wish, as to build this application in a 3D version is still alive.

Give it a go, it is worth it!

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