An interactive map tracking British scientific research, accessible worldwide to millions of Second Life internet surfers appeared at the British Science Festival.
The Birmingham-based “virtual world” specialists Daden Limited revealed a three dimensional view of current British scientific endeavour to the world wide web and particularly to the vast Second Life community.
The map is appropriately a virtual map inside Second Life, where visitors can click on map markers to get information on scientific projects.
The map is currently hosted at B-scape on Birmingham's island in Second Life.
Daden’s managing director, David Burden, said; “We know that there is a lot of UK science and Higher Education activity within virtual worlds but is hard to visualise the scale and scope of activity without seeing it on a map. We hope that this map will inform people about projects they didn't know about and encourage them to visit. We want it to become a lasting resource for UK Science which will live on beyond this year's British Science Festival.”
Users without access to Second Life, or people running projects in other virtual worlds, are not excluded from the project. All the information is available through the map's web page at: www.daden.co.uk/bsf/, with a link to the browser-based version of the Second Life map and lists of projects in other worlds.
Daden are interested in the use of virtual worlds for science outreach and higher education. Besides the mapping project they delivered British Science Festival information into the virtual world through a “twitter lab” displaying relevant twitter feeds from across the conference.
Daden Limited is a virtual worlds solutions provider working in Second Life® and other virtual worlds. They help organisations understand and use virtual world technologies for serious business, collaboration and education. Clients range from SMEs to global brands including central and local government, universities and healthcare organisations. Founded in 2004 by David Burden they are based at Birmingham Science Park Aston in Birmingham and are members of the Serious Games Institute in Coventry and Intellect in London.
Digital Birmingham developed B-scape to highlight the vast possibilities for Birmingham organisations within virtual worlds. B-scape exploits state-of-the-art mash-ups to pull layers of different information from elsewhere on the net through into Second Life. B-scape was developed in order to investigate how virtual worlds can be used to establish Birmingham as a leading digital city. B-scape integrates a range of different innovative uses of virtual world technologies to illustrate how collaborative virtual worlds can be used for local organisations to interact with the public. Digital Birmingham is the city's strategic partnership helping to ensure that the benefits of digital technologies are available to all in the city. More information at: www.digitalbirmingham.co.uk