Google Earth Could Go After Second Life

    September 24, 2007

Google Earth is getting increasingly realistic, but it still lacks elements related to human movement and interaction.  Google may soon address this issue, however, as there’s word that Google Earth could become the basis for a Second Life competitor.

Google Earth Could Go After Second Life
Google Earth Could Go After Second Life

The word, as such, is “Gmail.”  Arizona State University students have been given the opportunity to test “a new product that will be publicly launched later this year,” and a survey related to this mystery product asks, “Do you have a Gmail account?”

The next question inquires about non-disclosure agreements, so we don’t expect to see a lot more details in the immediate future.  Still, there are mentions of 3D modeling and videogames, and ten diverse avatars seem to point to the social nature of the offering.

“My World,” as the product’s called, is quite real, then; it just remains to be seen if it’s tied to Google.  But as Ionut Alex Chitu points out, “Arizona State University has a very close relation with Google: it’s one of the first large universities in the US that uses Google Apps, the site search is powered by Google Search Appliance, the university uses Google Maps and the ASU campuses already have 3D models in… Google Earth.”

He then continues, “But there’s actually more than this: the university offered photos for the Google Mars project, Google employees serve as guest speakers or adjunct lecturers at ASU and Google has an office on the Tempe campus of Arizona State University.”

If My World is indeed a Google product, don’t worry that it would take over Google Earth – the search giant would likely leave some layer of that intact and untouched.  In any event, the year’s only got about 95 days left in it, so before that time runs out, we should get some more definitive My World answers.