Translating Academic Research Into Public Knowledge via the Virtual World

Ed Dianthus takes a group of Virtual Pioneers on a tour of the Rosewood build in Second Life. The avatars are gathered in the area of the memorial to former Rosewood residents.

The Rosewood build in Second Life is an example of the use of a virtual 3D environment as a way to bring historical archeology to the public.  Edward Gonzalez-Tennant is an instructor of archaeology and Director of the GIS program at Monmouth University in New Jersey. His Doctoral work at the University of Florida in Gainesville included  comprehensive research and study on the 1923 Rosewood Massacre in Levy County Florida.  In an effort to share his academic work, Dr. Gonzalez-Tennant  created an environment in a virtual 3D environment, allowing the public to visit and immerse themselves in the setting of a small Florida town and museum commemorating  former African-American residents of Rosewood, Florida.

The Rosewood Museum in Second Life has displays and information about the Rosewood Massacre and the residents of the town.

This project has a transmedia approach in providing the public with an experience and information in the form of audio, video, text, photographs and drawings, as well as the 3D virtual buildings.  Information came from multiple sources including interviews with former residents, census records and newspaper accounts.  This type of research is typically available only to academia, but the use of digital tools makes it available to the public.

In addition to exploring a 3D world in Second Life interested individuals can view a virtual site built in Unity 3D directly in a web browser,  watch videos  and/or peruse the comprehensive website at

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4 comments on “Translating Academic Research Into Public Knowledge via the Virtual World

  1. And perhaps a more collaborative place. The ease in meeting and communicating with people you may never have an opportunity to meet is truly an asset that virtual worlds provides; One that helps us all grow and learn.

  2. I see real value in the use of virtual workspaces for knowledge sharing and collaboration. Second Life has always fascinated me because it is such a departure from the traditional human-computing interface. As this technology evolves in the 21st century I expect it will become totally immersive taking advantage of holography and 3D. Can you imagine visiting the Prado by walking through it virtually? The World will become a much smaller place.

  3. At some point in time I will begin my responses to you with less aplume. I am taken aback by your virtual leadership.I wait in vain for your frivolous pursuits and open your real world with equal wonder each time. And so I re-enter your classroom so wanting to be a peer of your must gifted students, yet we both know peerless when we encounter it. That’s how I feel about your presentation of which I’ll study and promote. Thank you for your multi-dimentional stimulation, I appreciate it. Please allow me to bear fruit to our next conjunction.

  4. Pingback: Translating Academic Research Into Public Knowledge via the Virtual World | Metaverse NewsWatch |

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