Sunday, July 15, 2012

A must for SL explorers: the SL Maps exhibit

SL history and geography are often ambiguous and mysterious. Few, scattered sources, slightly disappointing "museums", mythical tales by old residents... it's very difficult getting a systematic text about the many aspects of this world's shape and of its past (try at  the SL historical museum: grab the notecards about SL history!).

Outside the LL Wiki, we can rely on the SL historical places like The Man or the Governor Linden Mansion, on the famous Magellan Linden's diary, on some good articles by VirtualChristine, and on a good collection of books by a tireless explorer of the Grid, Dahlia Sweet. Recently, Salazar Stenvaag had written (in Italian) a good series of articles on SL roads and railways on Virtual Worlds Magazine (here and here).

So, an exhibit like the one Professor (Juliana) Lethdetter did edit, and Dragonia De Cuir built is an amazing event, a must for everyone who won't live in this wide world wandering only by TP, stopping only in well known places, unaware of its complexity, of the deep roots it has into an already long past.


 The place is warmly welcoming: an old stone lighthouse where you can find a nice guestbook (read the comments by past visitors!), a coffee table fulfilled with cakes and drinks, and the office where the editors are supposed have worked on the exposition and where they say will follow working on its subject.

 The Lighthouse Art Gallery

The Exhibit (my friend Laura wears her pilot's jumpsuite: her flights' tales brought me to be a fan of SL geography)

 Professor's Office

Maps are gathered by their type, and a lot of signs tell a lot about them.
Let's start with the first step, the legendary past of Magellan Linden's discoveries (2004-2009). Photo and maps show the famous explorer's work and some unique relics of a very ancient past regarding Nova Albion: they are only fragments and often also unintelligible, but their appeal is unquestionable!
A large wall is dedicated to the "Early Grid": rare and extremely amazing maps from 2002 to 2003 show how SL grew up in that time from 16 to 55 regions, drawing out the core of the oldest continent.
Close to this section, some samples of the most important collective enterprises, public and semi-public that built SL mainland most attractive places: Bay City, Steamlands, Blake Sea and... Zindra. History and geography walk together here, like in the other steps: each place is shown by official, transports' or ancient and rare maps, thanks to the help of protagonist of these places' life, from Marianne McCann of Bay City to Quie Niangao of the Virtual Railroads Consortium.

  Exhibit's Wall:Magellan Linden

  Exhibit's Wall: Early Grid and Mainland Regions

Transport grids are important for featuring SL mainland (yes, the SL described by the map is the mainland!) and another wall is dedicated to them. It shows by very detailed and well known maps the thick grid that covers every continent by railways and protected routes.
Railroad Consortium and Linden Lab Department of Public Work are the protagonist here, as well as important institutions like Coast Guard.

Exhibit's Wall: Railroads and Local maps (and editor's and builder's portraits)

Just a personal note by a passionate rider of these routes: have a trip on the fabulous route 6, in Heterocera. It's an high mountain road that will make you discover a pretty mountain environment - the mount Campion, the highest point on mainland - and will allow you watching SL from a unusual point of view.

Route 6 - High Mountain Road 

Good also to know that the raiload maps can be taken for free in the stations scattered along the railroads (where you can also get a train to use on the railroad grids!). Let me advise train travel lovers to stop at the huge Roma Station of Calleta, full with trains of every kind, where also is worth a visit the Hobo village close to it.
Calleta Raiway Station

The only lack here is that of the many and carefully updated airport guides and flight maps, that professional pilots use for their journeys, their fights and their challenges (get them at  Zack84 Burton's venue, now at Rivula).

The vintage style Airport Map (not at the exhibit)

 Detailed Flight Map (not at the exhibit)

Aside these sections, two highlights on places that built their fame by a continuous improvement of their environment and of their community life: the S.S. Galaxy and 1920 Berlin. It's not weird that they produced maps of their places, since geographic knowledge is one of the cores of communities' identity.
Between these walls, the most general section: the so called "Historical grid" or "Agni" one, due to great protagonists of the geographical knowledge of SL, like Carl Metropolitan, the Chanchellor Emeritus of Caledon's Oxbridge University, the Caledon's historian Dyne Telemasca and David Linden, who did take care for a long time of the land management at LL.

Exhibit's Wall: the Historic Grid
(and the nice coffee table with cakes for visitors :))

The charm of the old paper the maps are made, the suggestive stories that they tell, the careful display and the great contribution to SL knowledge make of Professor Lethdetter's and Dragonia DeCuir's work a precious gift to all of us. Read their biographies from their portraits and thank them for this!

Visit the exhibit at:


  1. Juliana LethdetterJuly 15, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Hi, Ms. Parkin! Thank you so much for your wonderful review of the exhibit. :) (And for the links to other resources it contains; now I have some new things to read and do...) I just wanted to take a moment to assure the many pilots and aviation fans out there that our omission of SL airport maps was not intentional- we simply ran out of time and room! We've had many generous contributions of airport maps since our formal opening, and any future expansion of the exhibit will be sure to correct the oversight.

    Happy Travels!
    Professor Lethdetter*

  2. Thanks for the mention and your really good article!:)virtualchristine

  3. You're welcome, Christine :)
    Your articles are an excellent start for knowing SL places, whoever interested in it should read them! :))
    And thanks for appreciating my post :)

  4. This is great! As a long-time resident of SL, it brings me joy and feelings of nostalgia, to see this. I, of course, had to visit this neat little place inworld.
    They offer free copies of many of the maps too.
    Thank you for highlighting this important piece of SL!


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