Virtual Worlds Technology for University of Edinburgh

Vue is a virtual educational and research institute bringing together all those interested in the use of virtual worlds for teaching, research and outreach related to the University of Edinburgh.

This post summarises some of the virtual worlds technology that is in use within the Virtual University of Edinburgh (Vue) community. It is provided as a single post to bring together some of the notes and blog posts for the convenience of the School of Informatics Educational Technology team.

Virtual World Platforms for Vue

  • Second Life – a commercial grid run by Linden Lab in California. Vue regions have been in place since 2007. From 2018 no paid-for regions have been retained but alternative educational spaces are available. See this blog post for advice.
  • OpenSimulator (or OpenSim) – an open source community platform. There are Vue regions on grids run by the open source community for testing and educational uses (OSGrid) and within the University of Edinburgh on servers maintained currently by Austin Tate (Openvue). A suggestion is that you use the FireStorm Viewer which works for both Second life and OpenSim.
  • Sinespace – a new platform with VR headset, desktop and mobile clients. Vue regions are maintained on this platform having been converted from the Second Life/OpenSim content via the OAR Converter tool into the Unity3D development environment for delivery in Sinespace.
  • Other platforms: Vue has used a range of platforms from “There” and “Forterra” some 15 years ago to more recent newer technology platforms such as High Fidelity, Sansar, etc.

Meetups in Virtual Worlds

Meetups can take place in facilities such as The Venue@Vue, the OpenVCE amphitheatre, and various I-Rooms (Virtual Spaces for Intelligent Interaction).


Class meetups, mixed reality workshops and conferences, seminars, etc are run in Second Life, OpenSim and on other platforms…


Virtual Graduations

Graduates (especially those achieving distance education degrees) who cannot attend physical graduations in Edinburgh can in some schools take an active part in the ceremony via participation in a virtual ceremony linked via two way video links to the McEwan hall graduations. See for more details, sample images and other information.

YouTube Video (6 Minutes)
YouTube Video (6 Minutes)
[MPEG-4 Download 720p 62MB]

Educational & Training Simulations and VR

Schools such as Business Studies, Informatics, Education and the Dick Vet have made use of simulations and experimental setups for projects and teaching in Second Life, OpenSim, Sinespace and other platforms.

2014-11-28-OpenSim-Oil-Rig 2014-11-28-OpenSim-Oil-Rig-BOP

Some of these are very effective when used with Virtual Reality (VR) headsets such as the Oculus Rift or Vive. A joint project aith RGU Oil and Gas Centre in Aberdeen used their Oil Rig training model in OpenSim with a VR enabled viewer for immersive training…

2014-11-28-OpenSim-Oil-Rig-VR 2014-11-28-OpenSim-Oil-Rig-BOP-VR

Virtual Art Galleries, Expo Pavilions and Demonstration Areas

A number of projects linked to museums and art galleries have created facilities to showcase their work in the Vue virtual worlds platforms. Art created by University members has also been displayed in a number of facilities… see for a summary For example the Infromatics Forum InSpace Gallery with artwork related to its construction period and other artwork associates with Informatics and its members, the Forum, and Vue…

An active expo pavilion and underwater gallery showcasing work on monitoring fish off a coral reef in South-East Asia was also created for the EU Fish4Knowledge project…

F4K on Openvue

Conferences and Mixed-Reality Events

Second Life and OpenSim have been used by Vue participants to extend real-life conferences, workshops, lectures and events to allow a virtual audience to join in, sometimes allowing a two way relay of video, audio, voice and text chat between the participants in a real location and the distributed virtual audience. This could be a valuable contribution to a “green” energy policy and travel saving agenda in future.

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1 Response to Virtual Worlds Technology for University of Edinburgh

  1. bat says:

    2022-10-01: The Openvue regions are also now available as a downloadable OAR from DreamGrid. See this article…

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