Second Life has benefited greatly from growing in popularity alongside video sharing services. Many people’s first glimpse of Second Life or a particular Second Life experience is through the lens of a YouTube video. When promoting real world brands in Second Life, videos of the Second Life experience that can be viewed by a wider audience on the web are often an important part of the campaign. Even for experienced residents like me, it’s often a video posted on New World Notes that inspires me to fire up the Second Life viewer to take a look at an amazing new build or experience.
The goal of the Carbon Goggles demo and tutorial videos was to make it clear what Carbon Goggles do and how to use them, but videos are also a great way to make the Carbon Goggles visualisations themselves available to a wider audience on the web. As well as being an ambient augmented reality application that allows Second Life residents to passively learn about real world carbon costs, Carbon Goggles can be used to quickly create images and videos that illustrate real world emissions.
If you annotate new objects with carbon emission data using Carbon Goggles, please consider recording some footage of the newly annotated objects and adding it to the Carbon Goggles vimeo group. I’ve added a vimeo badge to carbongoggles.org to show the newest videos. As well as allowing Carbon Goggles users to share the locations of annotated objects in Second Life, carbongoggles.org now shares visualisations of carbon emissions data to everyone on the web.
2 years ago at [Euro FOO 2006] (http://wiki.oreillynet.com/eurofoo06/index.cgi “Euro FOO 2006]) I met a mass of great people and enjoyed a torrent of wonderful conversations, but 2 of them in particular stuck with me. The first was with [Gavin Starks] (http://www.dgen.net/biog/ “d::gen network”) who commented that climate change would be much easier to deal with if we could see carbon dioxide. The second was with Claus Dahl who observed that [Second Life] (http://secondlife.com “Second Life”) is a great platform to prototype large scale [augmented reality] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augmented_reality “Augmented Reality”) applications as every object in Second Life has an Id and you can give away free augmented reality glasses in the form of heads up displays (HUDs).
A year later I started to experiment with the latter idea with SLateIt, an augmented reality application that can be used to find, tag and rate virtual objects in Second Life. Although I think tagging, rating and recommendation systems have a bright future in navigating the vast quantities of people, places and stuff in Second Life, SLateIt mostly came about as a way to demo augmented virtual reality in Second Life without a large data set to associate with objects in SL.
Finally, last week, the awesome team of Max Williams, Ryan Alexander, Andrew Conway, [Simon Willison] (http://simonwillison.net), [Natalie Downe] (http://notes.natbat.net) and Chris Waigl helped me bring the two ideas together by mashing up SLateIt, SecondLife and Gavin Starks’ new [AMEE] (http://amee.cc) emissions data base to create [Carbon Goggles] (http://carbongoggles.org). Instead of mapping Second Life object Ids to tags and ratings, Carbon Goggles maps Second Life object Ids to AMEE URLs. The HUD queries carbongoggles.org for emissions data for nearby objects and, if found, overlays a sphere on the object with a volume corresponding to the monthly carbon emissions of the object. In 24 hours we managed to hack together a working system to demo at Mashed and 2 days later added an annotation interface that allows new objects to be annotated with emissions data.
Carbon Goggles has had some great coverage over the last week, but I really hope the story doesn’t end there. The goal is to annotate objects across Second Life to produce a collaborative user generated ambient augmented virtual reality scientific visualisation the size of Denmark. Together we can add an extra layer of information to Second Life allowing people to learn to make more informed decisions in real life while living their Second Life. If you’re part of a group in Second Life that would like to help annotate objects, host Carbon Goggles vendors in world, create videos or images of Carbon Goggles visualisations or would like to help in any other way, please join the Carbon Goggles group in Second Life and get in touch.
![Carbon Goggles] (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3090/2601623427_e1a3d3076b.jpg)