Seconderth (a deep map) : Perspective

Floating (or suspended, as you will) above Teal, as well as above his Particle Lab, Jopsy Pendragon keeps an old workshop that displays a number of interesting things about Second Life, circa 2007.  One of them is the above map.  There’s a couple of inaccuracies — the region of Mauve didn’t come online in 2003, and Gibson did — but map historians know that the most beautiful are not always the most accurate.

In Da Boom, not far from the semi-legendary Zero Point, is another historical map display which lends a sense of perspective to the Grid That Was compared to Second Life today.

Because of the way that exhibit is laid out, it’s not really possible to get a clear idea of its import by way of a single photograph.  So here is my own attempt, using my rudimentary Gimp skills, overlaid on screen-captures of the World Map as displayed on the SLurl website, recorded November 23, 2010:

In the above, each color shows a phase of expansion recorded by the maps that have been displayed with each post of the “Seconderth” series.  The Original Sixteen (October 2002) are outlined in red. In order after that are the closed-beta expansion of December 2002 (green), the additions made when beta “went open” on March 31, 2003 (orange), the expansion of late April-early May 2003 (yellow), and the final pre-Opening Day addition (blue).

Above, the full count of 47 regions (red outline) on what became known officially as the continent of Sansara, but which most people who think about it at all call “the Mainland”.

And now… the big picture:

The white rectangle is the full area shown in the previous image, on a map of the entire Second Life Grid, which I assembled as a mosaic of 8 screen-captures*.  Zindra is to the far right (east); the three squarish landmasses away from the rest are covered in Linden Homes.  And yes, there is a reason for such a big margin at the bottom: there are two individual regions down there, hard to find even at full magnification.

If the maps don’t do it for you… according to Tyche Shepherd’s Second Life Grid Survey, as of today (November 27, 2010) there are 31,572 regions in “the world”.



First of all, in spite of my frequent rants, I wish to sincerely thank Philip Rosedale and the original Lindens who conceived the world, brought it into being and — for a time — also contributed their own creations, many of which have found their way onto these pages as among the oldest relics of the Elder Days.

There are some individuals who — whether they knew it or not — have contributed significantly toward this project:  Oz Spade, whose written efforts are the foundation both of the SL Wikia and the notecards to be found at the History Museum inworld; Bino Arbuckle, who collected the world maps and made them available on the Web; Cristiano Midnight, whose Snapzilla preserves so much in images that has not been written; the anonymous founders of “2nd Look Image Gallery”, for the same reason;  Ingrid Ingersoll, whose prolific contributions to Snapzilla filled in many blanks; Daniel Voyager and Wizard Gynoid for their Flickr streams; Marianne McCann, whose obsession with SL history quite possibly exceeds my own, and who has pointed me toward many resources; brinda Allen, whose active encouragement in the comments (and occasional informative notecards in-world) have been of great value… and Fmeh Tagore, whose question at SLUniverse was the snowball that became this avalanche.

Finally, and most importantly of all, I am deeply indebted — as we all are — to The Oldbies, the Residents of alpha and beta, whose land and builds and stories have been unearthed in the pages of “Seconderth”… and to whom, especially the Charter Members, these pages are dedicated.

Quo vadis?

I’ve been asked by more than one person about what my next project might be.  The Avatarian webzine trial balloon I floated last month received a lot of initial enthusiasm… for about a week.   It has also received only three submissions, plus Pathfinder’s permission to reprint his story.  I haven’t approached Cubey about the story that started it all, but it’s been reprinted once already since its first appearance on his blog.  At this juncture, I can’t be sure what will happen with the ‘zine… which is one reason why I was clear that nothing would happen until after January 1.  So, there’s still plenty of time to get something written and submitted — please do.

There are two other reasons why “Avatarian” is on hold until then.  One is: I’m currently in the review cycle at TQR: Total Quality Reading, up to my eyeballs in short stories until the deadline of December 15.  The other pertains to the offline part of my life, which is just about to undergo an enormous change.  Whether for good or ill is to be determined in the next week or so, but I’m not prepared to go public with it yet.  However, for my friends who wish to contribute “good vibes” toward a successful outcome, the mantra is Indianapolis.

As to “Seconderth” itself… Its original purpose, the virtual archaeology of the oldest sims, is now complete.  Nevertheless, there may be some further posts of a less historical nature, but still fitting within the concept of deep map… so, watch this space (and my Twitter stream).

*The map mosaic is 3040 x 3040 pixels and just over 1 Mbyte.  Anyone interested can obtain a blank one (without the white rectangle) by emailing lalo[dot]telling[at]gmail[dot]com.

Links to the resources acknowledged above, and others, can be found on the SL History page of this blog.



5 responses to “Seconderth (a deep map) : Perspective

  1. A big thanks, Lalo, for this body of work. There's no question you've helped round out how SL has proceeded from it's early days to now.

    It's especially fortuitous for me now because, although I'm hardly an SL newbie, I've just recently been asking myself questions like “what about this” and “where did that come from?” For the more difficult questions I know I never would have done the investigative work you've done. So here's a big THANK YOU. :-)

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