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Monday, November 15, 2010

Blue World Notes: IDIA Virtually Reconstructs a San Francisco Historic Site That No Longer Exists (Mostly)

I've started exploring IDIA's new immersive education space which launched today in Blue Mars, but here's the thing: It's big. I mean really big, many times the size of the Second Life sims I'm used to. This is why the developers created teleport kiosks throughout the several sites within the City -- just select and click and there you are.

Being a San Francisco resident, my first stop, of course, was IDIA's recreation of the Panama–Pacific International Exposition, most of which was torn down after the 1915 Expo. A small portion of it, the Palace of Fine Arts, was reconstructed in the Marina District, where it's now part of the Exploratorium:

Compare and contrast the Blue Mars version with the reconstructed Palace in San Francisco in the picture above (photo of RL site inset in top right.) But IDIA has gone much further than just reconstructing the Palace -- they rebuilt the entire Expo as it was nearly 100 years ago. For a San Franciscan, it's a somewhat eerie place to explore: You expect to see the Presidio behind the Palace, but instead, there's a vast, sprawling neo-Classical courtyard full of surprises. (More on those later.)

What about Blue Mars should I write about next? Email and let me know: hamlet at bluemarsonline dot com.

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