In search of resources to make virtual Harbin:
I'm presently writing an ethnography about Harbin Hot Springs in northern California (http://harbin.org), as well as intending to create a virtual Harbin in Second Life. I started my virtual Harbin as ethnographic field site project in Open Simulator, but that laptop and knapsack was stolen. I'd like to model Harbin's 6100 acre topography relatively realistically, but would like to start with the main pool areas, an area which is slightly bigger than 512 m by 512m - i.e. one virtual island in SL. One of my challenges thus far has been finding funding for this academic project of creating a virtual ethnographic field site for long term study. (I'm developing World University and School - like Wikipedia with MIT OCW - and I teach a course on Harvard's virtual island on "Information Technology and Society" presently, but without pay, so I don't have a budget or money). I'm writing to ask your ideas for developing virtual Harbin. I'd like to build it, but with help, at least in the beginning, especially vis-a-vis topography. Although I've taught some building skills in SL in a class, I haven't built an island yet. In many ways I'd like to apprentice to an experienced SL builder for much of this building of virtual Harbin project. (I also wonder whether there are plans to model the earth and whether this might be a part of a related northern California project). I don't have any virtual land. Given the recent changes in SL vis-a-vis Open Simulator, and the SL user base, I'd like to build it in SL. I'm wondering whether it's even possible with Linden Lab to build things above or below presently existing islands. I have in mind a 'realistic' build like France's Mont St. Michel in SL - http://slurl.com/secondlife/Mont%20Saint%20Michel/71/63/48 - and also M's Hot Spring (Shinto Shrine) http://slurl.com/secondlife/Veil%20of%20Shadows/98/50/22, as 2 examples. I'm wondering what you might suggest for this.
Looking forward to communicating with you. If you have interest, you're most welcome to attend the class I teach on Saturdays from 11a-1p Pacific Time in SL: socinfotech.pbworks.com.
(http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2010/03/three-toed-woodpecker-in-search-of.html - March 8, 2010)