Thursday, September 22, 2005

Faux Terrain Map Style

An idea I've had for a while is a Second Life map style somewhere in between the original in-world map and a true textured view. The in-world map does a good job of expressing the basic shape of the land and water, but uses only a few gradations and somewhat eccentric colors. The 1.7 map apparently renders the terrain with textures, but I think this might lose some of the useful schematic qualities of the current version. I've been experimenting with a style in between. The idea is to use colors which the user associates with natural terrain features (sand, grass, rock) to communicate elevation even though these features don't correspond to the actual textures of the sim terrain. The style also displays three different ranges of water depth which I find useful. Below is an image saved out of Grid Chart which shows the current state of this style.

Click for larger version.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Lake Hope Topography

I've been calling the large area of void sims northeast of the snow sims Lake Hope. It's a lake with islands at the center. I was looking at its topography and decided it was so nice I'd give it special attention here. Here are a couple of elevation maps of the area, one with sim borders and names and one without. I appreciate the effort the Lindens put into terraforming.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Grid Chart Work

I'm still working on Grid Chart, although I'm taking a couple of college courses which slows the pace. The two main areas I've been working on are error handling and user settings. A big improvement I got in is that images used for sims (for instance elevation maps) are now created on a background thread, so that the user can continue to use the map as they're loaded. I also added some more events generated by the map control. At the moment there are: SimSelectionChanged, SimUnderMouseChanged, and SimFocusChanged. There are a number of planned features that I'm putting off until I get this initial version done.

Here's a pic of what the main Grid Chart window looks like today, with color elevation maps in the middle of loading.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Second Life Mainland Sim Data

Here is a link to my data for the mainland sims for those who might want it.

The sim data is comma-delimited, one sim per line:

Name,X,Y,Water Level,Rating,Material,Ownership,Function,Region


I'd ignore material and region, which are my own stuff and in flux anyway. The ratings should be mostly right. Ownership and function are fairly accurate but I wouldn't count on it for newer sims.

The hub data contains the sim name and x y z coords.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Second Life Desktop Images

I made myself a desktop image of the Second Life mainland, and thought I'd post it in case anyone else would like it. I made three different sizes, each of which is a jpg.

1280x1024 - 1024x768 - 800x600

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Grid Map .NET Control

Although the actual map display of my Grid Chart application has always been a seperate control, I finally got around to splitting it out into its own library. This means it can be used in any .NET application, i.e. it can be added to the toolbox in Visual Studio and dropped on a form. It depends on another library for working with grid and sim data (SLGridLib2). The immediate benefit to me was that I could add it to the application I use to map Second Life, as seen below, which is very convenient. But also it means I can make it available to others who might have a use for it (after a little more work).

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Northern Continent Growing

The northern continent in Second Life continues to grow impressively. The mass taking up most of the western portion is an impressive hill which slopes gently down to the water. Here are some renders of the area with a few different texture styles.

Click to enlarge.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Grid Chart - Second Life Map

I've been on a push to finish my interactive Second Life map application, Grid Chart. It's similar to the in-world map, but runs locally on .NET so it's faster and has extra features like drag selection, saving maps to file, and a search tool. I've added a sim terrain view in the same style as the in-world map, and I'm working on a textured view (apparently the map in 1.7 already does this). Here's a shot of the terrain view in use.

Click to enlarge.