NOAA: Advice for Federal Agencies about Virtual Worlds & a Great Interactive Example

Waiting for the tsunami to hit on NOAA’s island in Second Life.

Check out this article, Living NOAA’s Second Life

It is about how the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)–a government agency–is using a virtual world to reach into the future and it has some great advice on considerations before launching into a virtual world.

My advice to other federal agencies interested in virtual worlds is to define your goals before you break ground. Use the numbers in terms of visitors, time spent on the site, etc., to help refine your design and improve your conversion rate to your goal.

Start small by focusing on a topic that is of interest to local management. Wow a manager with an easily understandable and relatively cheap application. Don’t be shy about asking questions and fostering a sense of community development…as described by Eric Hackathorn who is, among other things, co-chairman of the Metrics and Research Working Group at the Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds

They are also working on some forward thinking applications for virtual worlds and data sets.

One recent prototype we call Second Earth attempted to blend the capabilities of tools like Google Earth or Microsoft Virtual Earth with the collaborative capabilities of Second Life. You can fly through and remotely collaborate about a real-time dataset.

Some resources and articles on the topic:

NOAA Comes to Second Life
(great images)

A New Wave of Learning

Meteora (SLURL Link to NOAA island)

(SLURL Link to NOAA island)

If you haven’t checked out NOAA’s island in Second Life, you really need to have a visit.


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Posted in: Second Life 3D worlds

Leave a Comment (2) ↓


  1. Karl Kapp July 12, 2009


    Thank you for the great work. NOAA is one of the best Second Life public island!! Maybe my class could have a guided tour sometime?


  2. Eric Hackathorn July 10, 2009

    Thanks for the visibility! If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask!

Karl Kapp
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