Terreiro do Paço, November 2008

Terreiro do Paço, Lisboa, Before the 1755 Earthquake

Coordinated by Profs. Alexandra Gago da Câmara and Helena Murteira from CHAIA (University of Évora), Beta Technologies deployed a historical representation of the city of Lisbon in 1755, shortly before it was destroyed by the 1755 earthquake, to be included in the presentation City and Spectacle: a vision of pre-earthquake Lisbon in the workshop Serious Games in Cultural Heritage at the VAST2008 (Braga, December 2, 2008).

Having previously recreated a model of the Royal Opera House, this latest project involves the recreation of the eastern side of the Terreiro do Paço (Royal Courtyard), including the palaces built by King Manuel and King Phillip, as well as the Terzi Tower. The recreation extends to the Gardens behind the palace and the streets and courtyards leading to the Royal Opera House, which was included in this model.

This was also Beta Technologies’ largest-scale project based on OpenSim server technology, having been built in its entirety on Beta Technologies’ own OpenSim mini-grid. We used a HostGator Black Friday deal and got the servers we needed on the cheap. ‘Gridnauts’ (residents subscribed to the Open Grid Public Beta Trial) are able to visit the 3D models directly; images are also available here and here.

Update 2021

It’s often very hard to keep online information accurate over long periods of time, as old sites break down or get abandoned — or actually get upgrades which change all their links. I do my best to keep up with the changes, often having to link to the Web Archive to access archived data from sites that don’t exist any longer.

Beta Technologies is still hosting its own OpenSimulator Grid, and the Lisbon Pre-1755 Earthquake project is still on the works — although at a reasonably slower pace, due to an extremely long period of lack of funding. It hasn’t been abandoned, though; it’s still active and can be visited if you have an avatar registered on any OpenSimulator grid where outgoing Hyperjumps are enabled (most grids have it enabled). Sadly, the technology which allowed Second Life avatars to jump to OpenSimulator grids has been discontinued by Linden Lab back in 2008; it was mostly a proof-of-concept and Linden Lab did not pursue it further. Therefore, you have no other choice but to register with one of the many grids out there (or use your own grid) in order to successfully roam around the Hypergrid.

Our grid is mostly designed for testing purposes and as a building site for ongoing projects and not really for hosting events — or even allowing large groups of visitors. As such, do not expect outstanding performance. It is hosted somewhere on our own ‘bare metal’ server on a popular, low-cost European hosting provider with good overall Internet connectivity. We do not create accounts on our grid — except for our own team and our virtual world content clients — so it’s pointless to ask us for an account.

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