The One Earth Model

Geographic Interoperability in the Real-World Metaverse

World map with thousands of dots representing song origins.
Alan Lomax’s Global Jukebox, 5,776 traditional songs representing 1,026 societies. [Assn for Cultural Equity]

Anchored Representations

All forms of real-world-based representations — photos, videos, words, music, VR, and virtual objects — can be anchored spatially and temporally to spots or areas on Earth, like stakes in the ground, and cross-correlated with annotations, tags, and other metadata.

BeHere / 1942, an AR historical re-enactment about Japanese American Incarceration (2022). [Masaki Fujihata]

Remote Travel

For every real-world place where you can actually stand, there are billions of other people who could only be there remotely.

👎 Just like being there.
👍 The next best thing to being there.

In 2006–8, I directed a project at USC called Viewfinder which allowed users to spatially situate their photographs inside a 3D Earth model like Google Earth.

Photo aligned inside Google Earth for USC Viewfinder project.
Family photo spatially aligned inside Google Earth. [USC Cinema Interactive Media & Games Division]
Viewfinder five minute demo video. [USC Cinema Interactive Media & Games Division]

Mediated Presence

Whatever you might think of Mark Zuckerberg, he’s single-handedly set the frenzied pace of metaverse research and development, and his priorities are clear:

Mixing board analogy to subject and representation.

Geographic Interoperability

The metaverse is widely portrayed as artificial worlds — for gathering, hanging out, fantasizing, being entertained, or working. These artificial worlds are constructed from scratch, professionally or by members of a community. Interoperability between these artificial worlds assumes that they’re all different, like different territories. Hence, interoperability is akin to territorial treaties.

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Michael Naimark

Michael Naimark has worked in immersive and interactive media for over four decades.