A new Automated Hypergrid Directory with Great Potential

Mike Leopard, creator of the iDreamsNet Hypergrid List

Mike Leopard, creator of the iDreamsNet Hypergrid List

Two of my biggest challenges when exploring Hypergrid-connected regions across the multitude of Opensim-based grids have always been: 1) finding places where people are currently visiting and 2) not wasting time trying to connect to places that are offline.

And over the years, there have been commendable efforts to manually create lists of Hypergrid-connected places (e.g., Hyperica) as well as strong work to create networked inworld devices (e.g., TheHypergates).  All this work has been wonderful and very helpful to the growth of the Hypergrid.

However, I’ve always felt an ideal tool to really tie together the Hypergrid would be an automatically updated (i.e., # of current visitors and online status) and simple searchable web-based directory that was very easy to join.

Which is why I’m very excited by the new iDreamsNet Hypergrid List created by Mike Leopard.  He’s nailed all of those features right out of the gate.

There aren’t many regions listed right now since the system is brand new and opt-in, but it’s incredibly easy to join and therefore could grow very quickly.  To get your own Hypergrid-connected region included in the list, you just rez an object on your region which phones home to the iDreamsNet website and immediately creates an entry for your region on the Hypergrid List.  You are given a special link where you can go edit your listing (add photo, descriptive text, tags, website) and, over time, this object communicates back to the iDreamsNet website to let it know if your region is currently online and how many people are currently on it.  More details can be found on the iDreamsNet website.

My entry for Pathlandia.  You can see I was logged in by myself when this was taken. ;)

My entry for Pathlandia. You can see I was logged in by myself when this was taken. ;)

With the recent elimination of the 4096 region distance bug, there’s no need anymore to complicate Hypergrid directories with grid coordinates or “upper, middle, lower” categories.  Now, anyone can jump from any Hypergrid location to any other Hypergrid location.  We just need a simple, automated and powerful directory.

I’m really looking forward to seeing how this new service evolves, and I love the clean Google-esque design of it.  Simple, automated and powerful.  Great work so far, Mike!

Take care,
-John “Pathfinder” Lester

About John Lester (Pathfinder)

John Lester is an expert in Multiuser 3D Virtual Worlds, Immersive Learning, Knowledge Management and Community Development. His background is in neuroscience research and medical education, and he previously worked at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and Linden Lab. John is currently the Chief Learning Officer at ReactionGrid Inc., helping clients develop new systems for immersive learning using web and mobile-based virtual world platforms. For more contact info please see http://about.me/pathfinder
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11 Responses to A new Automated Hypergrid Directory with Great Potential

  1. sterickson says:

    > 2) not wasting time trying to connect to places that are offline.

    The latest version (3.2se) of the Blamgate checks the remote grid status, hourly. :)

    I’ll definitely check out this new service. Anything to reach more people. :)

    • I love that feature of the newest Blamgates by Shaun Emerald. Shaun continues to do a great job updating them, and I really like the metaphor of physical gateways inworld.

      You’re also so right about “anything to reach more people.” For the Hypergrid to really grow, people need to be able to find places and each other. That’s why I’m excited about this new service. More opportunities…

  2. http://search.metaverseink.com/ has been available for as long as Hypergrid has existed and it doesn’t require an http-box on every region to send data. The search engine polls the servers and shows when regions are offline. It lists every region on each server too and it is enabled by default. I’m not sure but I think Hyperica uses the same method to poll servers to build it’s own list. You can put the address in viewer’s browser too prior to login and find places to go then it will open the splash/login pages in the viewer window. Once in world you can open a browser window to search more destinations and hitting the links brings a Landmark up to use to teleport.

    • maddy says:

      Metaverseink is included in Diva distribution. There’s not instructions on how to sign up if your not using that distribution as far as I can tell. It seems to be using modules included (or added to) that specific distribution. I suppose you could email her to add it but you’d still be missing those modules if your distribution wasn’t set up for it. Also it seems this listing doesn’t provide a number of people on this list nor the sims (voluntary) region maturity. This is because you have to have an object on the sim in order to gather this information as far as I know.

      As far as I know Hyperica hasn’t yet implemented this feature but plans to using an in world object that queries all the sims at once? Which may or may not scale well. It would depend on how she sets that up I suppose. We were discussing it and it seems she has a few ideas for it. The thing is were not attempting to replace those so much as to make our system simple to use with out much form filling. Were hoping this encourages more sign up.

      • Thanks for commenting, Maddy. I’m glad you’re helping Mike on developing and testing this new service.

        Gaga, yes, I know about http://search.metaverseink.com and think it’s a great service. But as Maddy said, it appears to be only a Diva Distro system, and I can’t find much documentation about the service on the website. It would be fantastic if such a system were built in to every flavor of Opensim.

  3. sterickson says:

    It’s not just in the Diva Distro. All you need to do is configure the [DataSnapshot] section (see OpenSimDefaults.ini) in your OpenSim.ini file, and your data can be sent to metaverseink.com.

  4. Thanks, Pathfinder :) It’s always great to see more directories about OpenSim overall. We’re still a long, long way to go until we can index everything, of course…

    To help the iDreamsNet guys, I’ve also added one entry for our semi-private grid (it means that it can indeed be visited, but the public areas will be of little interest to most people, lol, since the goodies are allegedly only accessible to customers…).

    I never knew that MetaverseInk was supposed to be “just a Diva thing”! I never used the Diva distro (except once to test it out), and have been using MetaverseInk it for eons, I can’t even remember when I started pushing information to them, and they’re definitely there… However, I have no idea how good/complete/accurate it is. It certainly lists some of our regions and has always listed them, and it lists a few objects, although I have no idea what the criteria for listing objects is. Perhaps something has changed recently which prevents new updates, but getting it updated used to be as simple as @sterickson describes above. That’s the configuration we use to publish things to MetaverseInk.

  5. sterickson says:

    The [DataSnapshot] section was in Core OpenSim before there was a Diva Distro, I think, and as far as I know, MetaverseOnk is not just for her distro.

  6. Looking forward to this with the updated visitor list as it something I had always hoped that thehypergates.com would have included with the hypergates gate. This feature will really help the Hypergrid to become a mainstream alternative to Grids imo, although I do hope that iDream will be including a function to incorporate “minigrids” (personal grid setups) in its ‘phone home” app, as I see more people moving to that sort of configuration.

  7. ssm2017 says:

    hello
    hypergates are passing and some people are making their own solution on their side.
    some of them are good communicants so their solution can be in the focus of the light but some other ones are just ignored (i have no example to give but i can hear some people around me trying to make gates and directories since hypergrid exists)
    the way that most of these systems are using makes me think about the early ages of the www in the 90′s when you could see on a website a lot of links to directories until the rise of the web crawlers.

    if there are 5 hg directories, will people host on their region or parcel every terminal pinging each server every n seconds and need to update the objects scripts on every update ?
    the metaverseink solution is based on the datasnapshot module, so if we would like to be referenced on different engins, should we need to implement every region module for every search engine ?

    without denigration because i like the effort of the people to make open source code and try to help hypergrid visitors, i think that this is JustAnotherInworlTerminaBasedHgDirectory.

    so, maybe this is time now for devs to build something like metatags, xmlstitemaps.xml and robots.txt files on the grid/standalone side to give birth to crawlers bots for hypergrid ?

  8. Pingback: Hypergrid Safari – The evolution of exploration across the interconnected Metaverse | Be Cunning and Full of Tricks

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