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.



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

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Michael Naimark

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