ARCH: Virtual spaces and nets

Craig Presson (
Mon, 13 Jun 1994 11:26:40 -0500 (CDT)

> The evolution of the Internet, and as reflected in the navigation tools
> which support it, has led to a set of loosely connected, geometry-free
> worlds, islands of information.
> Whereas this approach is suitable for hypertext, and in fact is highly
> desirable, with the introduction of VR as a medium we need to expose the
> underlying geometry, and to treat coordinate space as a shared resource.
> In other words, the coordinates of the worlds we defined, no matter
> whether we choose to use local systems or not, are all mapped onto a
> globally agreed coordination standard.

One project that some people will undoubtedly work on is building
virtual copies of real places (cf. Gelerntner, _Mirror Worlds_). For
this purpose, and for the advantage of familiarity, I recommend we begin
with Earth as a shared space and allow multiple coordinate systems,
such as lat/long/elev, geocentric Cartesian/polar/spherical, according
to usefulness to the given problem.

Of course coordinate transformations will be straightforward as long
as Cyberspace is kept connected, which it need not be.

This brings me to the Naming Issue. URLs are real mouthfuls today, and
will get worse. Places in Networked VR (hmmmm NVR, NeVeR, NVR-NVR land
:-) will need short names, which would be mapped to a set of
coordinates and a 'handle' by which to access the resource.

Also, to share a common coordinate system, we will need a system for
allocating space, just as we allocate IP addresses.

Not every construct in VR will need or want special internal geometry;
Freeman Craig's Pretty Good Virtual High School of Robotics and
Riflery might be built inside a model of Colossal Cave that pretends
to be infinitely extensible by adding rooms and links and only the
entrances would have standard coordinates. Equally, any alternate
local geometry can be accomodated by locating an appropriately
labelled door in standard space. It will seem, in the global map, as
if you had installed a wormhole end in a storefront at 4th and Main,

So, I think we can have it both ways. A simple framework for simple
constructs, and Exits for special cases.

-- (Craig Presson)
President & Principal, T4 Computer Security ----------------
(205) 880-7692 Voice, -7691 FAX -----------------------------