#SL Virtual Landmarks…

Landmark Tower – By: fakelvis – Flickr

We have movement on Virtual Landmarks. I’ve been writing about Virtual Landmarks since August 2012 when Toysoldier Thor proposed them (see SVC-8082). See: Virtual Landmarks. They are a feature that is on the Linden ‘would really like someday’ list. The last I’ve heard is they are not on the production schedule. This means there is a bunch of stuff ahead of them and no definitive priority has been set.

That no priority has been set means we have no idea when we may Virtual Landmarks (VLM) in Second Life™. But, Darrius Gothly has just written an article titled: Time To Push Second Life Forward – Virtual Landmarks. Obviously it is about VLM’s. It does a very good job of explaining the purpose of VLM’s. The best part is there is now a way to get VLM’s.

The Tech

Darrius and I have both compared VLM’s to URL’s that use a web site’s domain name, like blog.nalates.net. Somewhere there is a server that looks up that name and tells your computer where my web server is and how to connect. VLM’s in SL will need a server to provide a look up service too. It is setting up such a server that the Lab has yet to prioritize and start work on.

It Is Done

Some people wanted VLM’s now. Apparently Darrius is one of those people. So, they made a service external to Second Life that can be used on web sites (like the SL Market Place or my blog) and within Second Life. A person can now purchase VLM’s from a service to use with their products.

One can get five VLM’s  with up to 8 locations each for L$299 (US$1.58 per the Market Place conversion) to L$5999, which provides unlimited VLM’s.  It is a subscription or lease somewhat like registering a domain name. The basic 5 VLM deal is for 1 year. I’ll point out that the number of VLM’s you get has nothing to do with how many you can hand out. I’ve purchased one domain name (Nalates.net), but I can give out the name/URL to as many people as I want and post links to the site in as many places as I want. VLM’s or sort of the same. You could give your ONE VLM to everyone in SL… let me know if you figure out how to do that… and you just pay for one VLM.

Toysoldier Thor’s Feature Support Sign – Get In-World

Eight locations per VLM… that one had me scratching my head. There is a web page that explains that. See: VLMVW™ – Virtual Landmarks for Virtual Worlds. There is a wearable VLM. It has the 8 locations if you decided to set them up. A menu gives you a choice of which location to teleport to. The site describes it:

Virtual Landmarks also have a feature not available with standard Landmarks: Multiple Destinations. A VLM can have up to 8 destinations called “Locations”. If a VLM has more than one Location, it will list each of them in Nearby Chat then present you with a simple menu. Once you select the desired Location by clicking on the corresponding menu button, you will be instantly teleported there. Each time you wear a VLM, you can choose any of the available Locations.

All in all this sounds like a really handy service. Getting 5 VLM’s for US$1.58 per year or about $0.32 per year per VLM is a pretty good deal in my thinking. Domain names are about $7 to $10 per year.


One of the nice things about these VLM’s is the statistics they provide. You cannot get any usage information on the standard SL landmarks you hand out. With these VLM’s are used the hosting server can record stats. You can access those and see how well your marketing with VLM’s is working.


We often want the Lab to do things for us. But, often when they don’t do something in the time frame we want we forget that an opportunity for an entrepreneurial solution is waiting to be developed. Darrius or Darrius and crew have stepped up to provide a service many of us need now.

We can see the difference between the SL government (the Lab) being involved, as with the Mesh Deformer, and an independent entrepreneurial private effort, the VLM’s. All the things the Lab controls take time and are never quite the way we want them. I don’t mean the Lab does poor work, they just have to meet all the company’s criteria and design for the general use. We see that compliance with criteria problem slowing viewer development among third party viewers. There is nothing to be done about this, it is just the way it is. The less we involve the Lab, the faster we get things.

While this private solution is here now, we can still let the Lab know we want the service in SL. If you have not clicked watch on SVC-8082, visit the page and try clicking watch. Some JIRA items still allow that.

10 thoughts on “#SL Virtual Landmarks…

  1. I would add that an independent effort is often used as proof-of-concept by LL, and they have in the past had no problem doing it themselves if they see that it works. Thereby leaving the independent developer out in the cold.
    LL is getting better about that though, maybe they will buy Darrius out.

    • That would be a nice alternative that would encourage more private development… and probably some new forms of drama.

  2. Although the most ubiquitous and transparent deployment of the VLM solution would be one that the core LL-controlled functions/services of the SecondLife grid would integrate, as you have already mentioned in your blog, we all know that this could take LL 1+ years to initiate and deploy. And as myself and Darrius, and countless others in the SL community that have learned about VLMs strong believe, VLMs is one of those core new features that is LONG OVER DUE and can’t wait years for LL to decide to deploy.

    The current LM system is an extremely limiting and out0dated solution on the SL grid (as well as any other open source competing grid). Its basic highly simplistic design casues so many examples of grief, frustration, and wasted time / effort for SL Residents and yet it is one of the most basic and important features / functions of the SL grid. I recall Rodvik stating that LL needs to focus on making improvements to SL that woul significantly improve the overal user experience on the grid. Well, overhauling LMs to VLMs would be a huge low hanging fruit to address this objective.

    But, since we know that LL will likely leave VLMs as a permanent member of their Job Jar BucketList, it is so refreshing that someone as entrepreneurial as Darrius has taken the concept of VLMs and developed a solution that can actually exist on the SL grid. In fact, because it was developed outside of LL’s control and without any of their involvement, Darruis’s solution is available for other grids like IW.

    The only weaknesses to Darrius’s solution are those he cannot control. For his solution to be a 100% slam dunk no-brainer that all would use, he would need to get LL to remove the restriction on the MarketPlace that only allow SLURL and (silly enough) bit.ly urls as pointers to inworld locations. This is a very silly useless restriction on the MP since its not there for security reasons (anyone can put any url behind a bit.ly) but just trying to convince LL Commerce Team to spend 10 minutes and remove this restriction so that Darrius’s VLM links would work natively…. will be like pulling teeth.

    The other limit is that since Darrius has not rights to replace / introduce the native operation of an LM (i.e. an artifact in your inventory that take direct action simply by double clicking on it ni your inventory), the overwhelming adoption of Darrius’s solution will be slowed simply because Darruis’s solutions requires work-arounds to the native function of a real LM asset. i.e. rezzing a VLM to the ground or wearing a hud.

    BUT…. the positives are huge for Darrius’s solution. He has already implemented advanced functions that LL would likely have never deployed. The VLM usage stats are a major benefit for any store merch or venue manager.

    The 8 location VLM is a major premium function. Why would I like this option. Imagine you are an inworld store owner with several sections to your store (i.e.a clothing store with mens, womens, lingerie, etc.). Imagine an VLM to this store where the 8 locations offered to that VLM are the actual specific locations for each of these sections in the store!!

    I know Darrius is also looking at other functions like the one I mentioned in my concept – VLM’s Location Round Robining for venue owners with mass attendances and visitors landing on top of each other’s heads.

    Anyway, I think Darrius has done an AMAZING job at transforming my concept of VLMs to a delux solution that will likely be quickly adopted by the SL residents and then also the other grids.

    Too bad LL is so slow at realizing and working on solutions like this…. they slowness has allowed a solution to come to life that takes control away from them and allows competing grids to quickly adopt.

    • Thanks for your comment. You mention several items I did not know about.

      I also did not realize the limit on the MP URL’s. I don’t use a support site for my MP items right now.

      When it comes to most anything to do with finding things or commercial things, the Lab seems clueless. It frustrates me and I suspect a large number of merchants, certainly Darrius.

      I am very happy he has moved ahead on this.

  3. Thank you for your comments and mention Nalates. As to the reasons for allowing multiple locations in a single VLM, I also envisioned a store owner that wanted to give one VLM to all their customers. That one VLM could then have separate Locations for each store location. As they added stores, moved stores around or eliminated them, the same VLM would always be up to date. So rather than people having to “manage” a varying collection of LMs, they need only keep one and anytime they use it they will be able to visit any location they desire.

    There are a ton of applications and gizmos that are swimming around in my head, and as always I’m wide open to suggestions for other features and functions. This great idea started as a way to benefit the SL Community, and I’m anxious to hear the ideas of others to help improve it.

    Other VWs may take a bit to implement though. To my knowledge there is no facility for the other grids that provides the same mapping functionality of slurl.com, so I may wind up having to develop that too. *shrugs* Whatever it takes I guess.

    • Thanks for commenting.

      There is something like SLURL.com for OSGrid… if I remember correctly. I couldn’t get it to work then and haven’t looked at it for some time. But, it seems like someone would be working on it for the Hyper-grid.

  4. So this basically is just an object that you wear that contact with a server and gives all info saved in a database about the locations stored in that “virtual landmark” isnt?

    This would be a great idea if we were using some kind of protocol that redirects people even using text in a website in the same way that SLURL works. But jus being an object that gives you a menu saved in a simple server, I dont see why this is so expensive. Ok, isnt too much money, but actually is pretty easy to do, even more, some people already have been using this method in HUDs and others products. Or am I missing something?

    • I think you are missing something… The VLM can be a URL on a web site. It can be like a teleport sign in-world or a HUD. I’m not sure what it will look like in a note card.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *