Green Phosphor [greenphosphor.com] aims to helps businesses obtain the inherent value from 3D virtual worlds by integrating complex datasets with 3D virtual world platforms. Ultimately, the combination of data visualizations and users within virtual worlds should enable geographically dispersed teams to analyze collaboratively, or present findings and insights in new compelling and interactive ways. The developers seem to be inspired by William Gibson's original description of "cyberspace" in the book "Neuromancer", as they proudly state "Data comes alive in this world, it is like we are exploring a cityscape."
Microsoft Excel spreadsheets can be uploaded via a web interface. A public demo, called Second Life Glasshouse, is currently available for online perusal. According to this Powerpoint presentation, in the near future, the virtual world will be able to source data from IBM Many Eyes, Swivel or the UN Database. If you want to spare yourself downloading the demo, there is always a promotional video below.
The company claims that their platform supports some advanced scientific operations, especially relevant for the field of genetic analysis, such as "microarray and pcr array visualization; overlay of mass spectrometry and/or microarray information onto images of specimens; integration with all the major proteomics and genomics databases; and import of molecular models into the virtual space".
Is there still a place for online 3D worlds targeting the dissemination of complex datasets, or is the dream of Gibson's DatAmerica, where pure information is the greatest high, still illusive?