3d virtual world
May 10, 2011 6:53 PM   Subscribe

I want to set up a visual mind map/memory palace landscape type city using some kind of 3 virtual world technology. What are some options?

The idea is a giant landscape where there is a part of the city for each topic like history, philosophy, psychology, etc. And there are buildings representing subsets of these topics. i.e. a building for objectivism, one for utilitarianism, one for idealism, etc. in the philosophy part of town. Then you travel down river to say, chemistry cove or something. And on and on.

And using the 'method of loci' memory technique create a building for each book I read where each room would be a chapter where I could mentally place stuff to be remembered. We remember better when we incorporate the spatial part of our brains, so I figure if I have a giant city with all the stuff that I've learned, it will all be more accessible to me.

I've looked into second life, but it's pretty expensive. What could be some good options?
posted by anonymous to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
posted by supercres at 6:55 PM on May 10, 2011

posted by pompomtom at 7:11 PM on May 10, 2011

Wow, would you believe I had a very similar idea just this morning. I can't think of anything that could be as easy to use as Minecraft, though your results would look kind of crude.
posted by Jonathan Harford at 7:22 PM on May 10, 2011

Well, it would *not* be ideal, but just in case nobody has any better suggestions, there is FreeMind which gives you the ability to associate ideas in a hierarchy and (I just double checked) gives you the ability to include images.
posted by forthright at 7:46 PM on May 10, 2011

I don't have an actual useful answer, but it seems like this is the kind of thing that Mark Pesce wanted VRML for when he invented it in the 90s...

In theory, yes, VRML would be a tech for that, but it's so kludgy that I don't think it would work. Looking at VRML editors, perhaps Flux Studio might work?
posted by symbioid at 8:02 PM on May 10, 2011

OK, who is reading the collective unconscious? I'm working on something very similar right now and my descriptions of what I'm doing are almost identical to this question.

Moving from books to ebooks means that I'll have fewer books on my shelves to prompt my memory about what I've read, and just being able to see the spine of the book is usually enough to get me thinking about it, so what I've been visualizing is a virtual library based on my own home or my local public library. .

At this point, I've started with a mindmap entitled "books I've known" and all I have is the title of the book, but even this is a reminder. I foresee links to outlines, wikipedia chapters, and url links to the actual text. I agree that the memory palace would be more helpful, but a good start would be just the book cover.

I attempted to mindmap all of my stumbleupon favorites for the past five years and a book list of some 5000 books and the personal brain mind map software overwhelmed my computer. I'm not sure I'd ever so clearly exceeded the memory or processing power of my computer. So far I'm not happy with any of the mind map software, mostly because I don't have $350 to buy any.

I would also be pleased if this project of yours manages to put google ebooks and project gutenberg in a virtual library because finding things by category or subject just hasn't been done.

Still, I'm working on ithoughts for the ipad to do build the "books I've known" map. Good luck with the project and let us know how it goes.

Feel free to memail me if you want to see my mind map.
posted by mearls at 5:54 AM on May 11, 2011

Open Simulator
Open Cobalt
CMU's Alice
posted by at at 9:44 PM on May 11, 2011

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