The Abyss Observatory - Designing for Remote Collaboration, Self-directed Discovery and Intuition Development in Multi-user Interactive 3D Virtual Environments

Hajime Nishimura, Kenneth Y T Lim, Koji Koyamada


The Abyss Observatory is a museum of Earth System Science, Marine Life and Undersea Technology created in Second Life, currently supported by JAMSTEC as a test bed of remotely collaboration and 3D visualization to create new scientific value.

First, Second Life is remarkable platform for remotely, interdisciplinary and international collaboration. Secondary, Second Life has also useful for not only visualization of each content but also visualization of relation between each content to conduct new findings. Such exhibits need to arrange relating contents under some story by not only language communication but also visual communication. For these purpose, we attempt to learn curating methods of Art museums. Third attempt of the Abyss is to create new scientific value by assimilation or synthesize of 3D model and real data. 3D model is incomplete but real data is also incomplete. For example, deep sea life samples are quickly changed its shape and color at one atmospheric pressure. On the other hand, photo and video are also limited on viewing angle and resolution. We are working on 3D modeling of Bolinopsis infundibulum” which can apply to taxonomic descriptions based on discerning observation of researcher’s eyes, and evaluating its scientific value now.


Second Life; Virtual world; science museum; 3D modeling; visual communication

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