Museums and the Web 2008

Museums Virtual Worlds

by Paul Doherty as part of a workshop with Rob Rothfarb and Emileigh Starbrook

Table of Contents

In many of these lessons you will be given addresses of places in Second Life. Click here to learn how to go to those places.

A central source for information, from Linden Labs:

A great collection of video tutorials:

The Second Life Wiki:


Introductory Videos
A series of videos introducing Second Life

Museums to Visit
A selected set of science and art museums in Second Life, folllowed by pointers to extensive lists of museums.

Museum Tools
Examples of useful tools for the museum builder.
How to guide people through your museum, how to make signs,

Land Management
How to manage your museum land and sim.

Places to Learn
Building, scripting,texturing, everything

Places to find necessary materials
Things you need in a museum.

Building Aids
Tools to help you build.




Videos that show some of the possible uses of Second Life in Education.

Start with the top one if you have limited time

New Media Consortium: This is one of the best short introductory videos.

NOAA's Virtual Island: NOAA is using Second Life to create learning experiences. (High res downloadable version)

And here a team of architects makes a house

Architecture on the Double

A huge collection of videos is available on the Secodn Life Wiki under FAQs and Videos, click on videos>more

Second Life Video Sites:

How to make a Machinima in Second Life

Jeremy Kemp has a step by step Powerpoint on how to make a machinima:

Aimee Weber talks about how to prepare a script for a Machinima. The Making of the Solar System Machinima


Museums in Second Life

Important Example Museums


The Splo, Second Life's oldest Science Museum founded April 1, 2006.
A small Splo museum will be found in Midnight City at: see addresses in Second Life
An entire sim with several large Splo museums will be found:

The Exploratorium has a sim with some exhibits, a model of an asteroid impact on Mars and a Brownian Motion exhibit.

The International Spaceflight Museum, models of spacecraft from around the world, planetarium, rocket ride, a tour of the planets and much much more! Telehub

NOAA has two islands with interactive weather experiences:
Experience a Tsunami, Observe a melting glacier, or see a live weather map of the US.
Clean an Oil Spill, take a submarine ride and more


Virtual Starry Night: In which Van Gough paintings are used to inspire 3-d constructions.

How Starry Night sim was created

The Second Louvre: a collection of art created in Second Life

For a long list of Art Museums in Secon Life go to this web page

A list of Science places in Second Life

Here are some places to visit.

A classic Planetarium in Second Life

A true second life planetarium in which you visit each planet


Rome an entire sim modelled on ancient Rome ROMA (214, 25, 22)

Tunnel of Light, an immersive tour of light patterns, (think of the teleport scene in 2001 A Space Odyssey) Kings Rezzable (41, 28, 3)

An island with an artificial evolving ecology: Svarga (109, 52, 29)

An island on which to larn genomics: Genome (137, 87, 29)

Inspire Dance Planet , Butsu (229, 211, 199)

XIBALBA Maya exhibit, Info Island II (36, 217, 24)


Examples of tools useful to Museum Builders in SL

You can draw lines on the floor of your museum to guide people through the exhibition,

To see this done go to The Virtual Starry Night Exhibit

Lines can be drawn on the texture used for the floor of the museum using Photoshop or a similar program.

Or glowing lines can be created as rod-like prims and followed in 3D

Vehicle tour

You ride in a vehicle which takes you on the tour and provides information as you ride.

There is a vehicle tour of Sploland
The vehicle leaves from behind the signs at the Sploland telehub.

You can create a Heads Up Display, or HUD, that the avatar can wear to guide them through an exhibit.

A good example of a HUD will be found at the NOAA Meteroa tsunami

A second Example of using a HUD is the Info Fez

A free configurable tour HUD is available , IM Moriz Gupte for a free copy
Also available on SLExchange at

Live Guided Tour:There is a tool that will allow a group of avatars to follow a guide, it is the MystiTool AV FOLLOW The MystiTool, is a multiuse HUD (Heads Up Device), you can get a free copy of a limited version at Mysti's House of Sheep on Avendale (located directly next door to Wealthy Mizser's art gallery - Gallery Beleza).  The full version is about $400L.  There is a notecard giver right there that will tell you what the full version will do and immediately below the freebie version (which actually cost $1L), there is a chat transcript of a training workshop Mysti gave on how to use the MystiTool. Mystical Cookie Designs:  Avendale 202, 242, 22


Addresses in Second Life

Every simulator, aka sim, in Second Life has a name. The Splo museum is in Sploland sim.

Each sim is a 256 m by 256 m square, one can also fly to various altitudes in the sim.

Thus each location in Second Life has GPS-like coordinates in x, y, z where X is the distance eastward from the west edge of the sim, y is the distance north of the south edge, and z is altitude all in meters.

Thus a location in Second Life can be represented by a sim name and coordinates the center of Sploland sim at the surface of the ground is at Sploland (128, 128, 25)

To go to a location in second Life you can click on the Map button at the bottom of your screen, not the minimap! Then enter the name of the sim if it recognizes the name you will be allowed to enter the coordinates, and hit the search button, or press enter. The map will show you an image of the sim (which may be out-of-date.)

You can also press the orange teleport button but more on that below.


SLURL A location in second life can be specified in a URL, known as an SLURL. If you enter an SLURL into your browser address bar it will open a page with a usually out-of-date map of that location in second life with an option to allow you to teleport to that location. Clicking on the teleport button will open second life if it is not already open and then attempt to teleport you to that location. See teleport below.

An SLURL has the form which is the SLURL of the telehub in the plaza plaza in front of the Splo Museum

Any spaces in the name must be replaced with %20 as in which is the location of the Splo Museum in Aimee Weber's cool Midnight City sim.

You can create an SLURL by going to this page

Or if you have a location entered in the map press the "Copy SLURL to Clipboard" button



There are many teleporters in Second Life. Some take you short distances within a sim, others take you to any location in second life.

If you have a landmark in your inventory you can click on the landmark and it will try to teleport you to the location specified by the landmark.


There is a built-in teleporter in the second life map. (button at the bottom of your screen) Type in a second life address and press the teleport button.


You can type the address into IM, or into local chat, copy the address......


You may arrive at the location you request.

Then again, You may not.

The owners of the sim can specify where everyone teleporting into the sim must arrive by creating a telehub. They can even set up the sim so that you are not allowed to enter.

If you arrive at a telehub which is not at the location you requested you can go into the map, enter the sim name and coordinates and press "search." When you set a destination on the World Map, it appears as a red circle on the map. At the same time, a vertical red beacon appears in Second Life to guide you to your destination, a red arrow points you toward the beacon and tells you the distance to the beacon. To clear your current destination/beacon, press the Clear button on the Map, or click on the red arrow to make the beacon vanish.

Some sims will allow you to teleport to the location you want from the telehub, just click the landmark in inventory again and you will be teleported to the requested location.


Land Management

Here is where you will find detailed information on land management

Under the World Menu there are two choices for land management. About Land and Region/Estate.

Alternately, right click (or command click on the ground)

For museums the most important controls under about land are:


>Description You can type in a description of your museum which will appear when someone finds you under search.

>Buy a pass Allows a visitor to pay for access to your museum.


>Autoreturn other residents objects, If you allow residents to build on your land this allows you to set a time after which their objects will be returned to you.

Options Allow Residents to:

Edit your land: It is very importat to leave this box UNchecked, or visitors can rais and lower your land. You can always edit your own land.

Create Objects: Exhibits may encourage interaction by allowing people to build, but this is slightly dangerous because people can build objects which "Grief" your land. If you allow people to build consider setting auto return under the objects tab above.

Object Entry: Allows people to drag in objects from other parcels. (for example to fly vehicles onto your land.) You can specify whether all residents can do this, or the group selected in the General tab.

Run Scripts It is safest to uncheck this. If checked, allows scripted objects owned by others to run on your land. Leaving this unchecked can help prevent others from doing things like firing scripted weapons on your land. You can specify whether all residents can do this, or the group selected in the General tab.

Safe (no damage): Check this. If checked, sets the land to "Safe", disabling damage combat. If cleared, damage combat is enabled.

Restrict Pushing: science mseum exhibits may need to push visitors, art museums may not. If checked, prevents scripts from pushing. Checking this option may be useful for preventing disruptive behavior on your land.

Show in Search > Places (L$30/week): If checked, you will be charged L$30 a week in order to be listed in the Places search. If you select this feature, be sure to also select the category you want your land to be listed under (Store, Game, Homestead, etc).

Publish listing on the web: Select this checkbox to grant permission for information about your parcel to be listed on the web.

Snapshot: Click on the snapshot box to select an image for your land. This picture will be used for land listings, such as in the Search directory.

Landing Point: Select a landing point where people will arrive if visiting your land. Click Set to place the landing point where you are standing. This is where people will be directed to if they teleport to your land from the Search window.

Teleport Routing: Usually museums set a landing point, then they know where everyone arrives, visitors can be counted, and information can be given.
Use this drop-down menu to select one of the following options:

Blocked, which prevents residents from teleporting to your parcel.
Landing Point, which forces all residents to land at your specified landing point.
Anywhere, which allows reidents to teleport to anywhere in your parcel.


Media Texture: This is the image that appears n movie screens when movies are not plaaying.If you use streaming media, this texture will be replaced with the media. If you have an external URL you would like to stream media from, enter it here.

Music URL: Enter the URL of music you would like to stream to your land.

Restrict spatialized sound to this parcel: Check this. Checking this means that sounds from outside the parcel don't enter, and sounds from inside the parcel don't leave.


Allows you to limit access to your land.

Group: Checking this restricts land access to members of the group selected in the General tab.

Avatars: Checking this restricts land access to specific residents you add to the access list.

Sell passes allowing temporary access: Checking this option allows you to sell permits, which others can use to gain access to your land for the time you specify.


On this tab, you can restrict access to your land by preventing certain avatars from visiting. Please note that any residents, even those who were added to the ban list, can still fly over your land at a certain height. Be aware that you can also freeze and eject people on your land by right clicking directly on their avatar.


Throughout the tabs you'll see small "?" Buttons that provide further guidance.

Block Terraform: Check this! Determines whether the land can be edited. it prevent others from terraforming the land (while still permitting you to do so).

Block Fly: If you check this it turns off flight across this Region, even for parcels that have flight enabled. Check this if you want to mke people walk through the museum.

Allow Damage: Uncheck this. When ticked this Region will be unsafe regardless of parcel settings. If unchecked, parcel owners can still set their parcel as unsafe.

Restrict Pushing: Limits the degree with which avatars can be pushed, therefore making it safer from griefers.

Agent Limit: Specifies how many avatars (Residents) can be at your Estate at once. Any Residents beyond this limit that try to arrive will be informed that the Region is full. You can raise this value above its default of 40, but raising this can significantly (and may severely) reduce Estate performance. Alternatively, you can reduce this number to prevent incoming avatars from causing undue load on your Estate.

Maturity: Choose whether your Region is PG or Mature rated.

Teleport Home One User: Allows you to be selective if a specific Resident has worn out their welcome. This button will allow you to send them back to their home location.

Teleport Home All Users: Allows you to send everyone back to their home location, for example if you need to close the Estate for a while.

Send Message to Region: Allows you to send a notification message to everyone in that Region as a blue pop up dialog in the corner of their Second Life window.

Ground Textures

These controls are used to change the ground textures for different elevations on your Estate. They can be a little confusing at first.

Estate tools

Estate Managers list: Any Residents you assign as Estate Managers for you in this list will be able to access most of the same Region/Estate tools that you can. They will not be able to deed land or access the About Land window, as these are parcel-level controls. They will be trusted by Linden Lab for rollback requests, so be certain to chose Residents you trust.

Allowed Residents list: If Public Access is not checked, this list specifies which people are permitted to see and enter the Estate. If Public Access is checked, this list is used to specify Residents who have permission to post events on your Estate.

Allowed Groups list: Members of the specific groups listed have access to the Estate.

Banned Residents list: Residents added to this list will not be able to access your Estate.

Public Access: When checked, this setting allows access to the Estate without being specifically on the Allowed Residents list.

Allow Direct Teleport: Allows people to teleport directly to the Estate by clicking on it on the map. If you set a landing point on the parcel, that will determine where exactly they will end up. You can also disable this (the default behaviour) and use the traditional telehub method.

Deny Access on Payment Status: Allows you to restrict access based on whether Linden Lab has payment info on file and/or has used it.

Send Message to Estate: Allows you to send a notification message to everyone in the Estate as a blue pop up dialog in the corner of their Second Life window.

Kick User from Estate: Allows you to be selective if a specific Resident has worn out their welcome. This button will allow you to send them back to their home location


Places to Learn

Making objects with prims: The Ivory Tower Library of Prim, Natoma (207, 170, 25)

A photo suggesting many possible prim shapes: eLumenata prim list, Socrates (132, 65, 22)

Prim shapes guide, Fishermans Cove (74, 156, 26)

Making structures: Builders Paradise Dotoorak (39, 246, 103)

Building help: Design Center, Idea City, Idea City (70, 192, 40)

Making Particle effects The Particle Laboratory, Teal (222, 76, 301)

Texturing: tutorial Benten (23, 112, 28)

For beginners: College of scripting and Music: Horsa (41, 235, 84)

For intermediates: Linden Script Tutorial, Daydream SE Islands (198, 30, 27)


For Museums

Free sounds: Acoustic Alchemy (Scripted Sound, Mythos (187, 95, 30)

Animations: Abranimations, Isere (84, 125, 134)

Animation: Warehouse ZHA, No (41, 152, 164)

Virtual Reality Rooms, Solariam (206, 170, 432)

free textures Domino Designs, Spinolds Flat (96, 44, 56)

For Individuals

Animations Bits and Bobs ( Main Store ), The Island (230, 68, 23)

The best Dance Animations using motion capture animations, Sine Wave Island (123, 142, 23)

Free Clothing A White Dove~Palomma's Fashions , Gallii (113, 53, 33)

Skins for free , Pilatianus (89, 109, 70)

Expensive skins Minnu Model Skins, Glam World (15, 183, 23)

Warehouse of free items, Burns (95, 148, 79)

gestures, I, Suisun (136, 74, 56)

Gnubie Store, Indigo (204, 80)

Yadni s Junkyard - Newbie Paradi, Leda (197, 9)

Hairspray! The Hair Sim! Ft. Mir, Hairspray (181, 183, 51)

Hair styles: GuRL 6 Mega Store HAIR & Access, SLeezyWood (3, 71, 41)

Hair Styles by Tami McCoy, Dixie (41, 139, 23)

lingerie: NYMPHETAMINE Boutique, The Sirens Grotto (132, 123, 24)

Women's clothing, Nicky Ree Flag Ship Store Gowns , Deco (86, 64, 34)

clothing, PixelDolls . Main Shop, Port Seraphine (12, 128, 56)

jewelry RICX's , Nepessing (59, 97, 125)


A tool to box up and move an entire building: Crystal Gadgets , Babeli (112, 117, 24)

Buildings and furnishings for sale Depoz E (96, 98, 27)


A central source for information, from Linden Labs

Video Tutorials:

Basic Keyboard Shortcuts PDF


Main Library in SL, ICT Library: Info Island (20, 174, 33)