I was chatting with Norm Jacknis, CIO of Westchester county, the other day about his 2008 purchasing plans and one of the areas that came up was Westchester's use of Second Life-like technology.
There are two projects they’ve got going, one ready to launch as early as next year and the other due to be worked on afterwards. The one that will launch next year will create virtual worlds for county planning. Instead of just creating documents of descriptions of various investment scenarios, Norm wants people to see the possible outcomes for various investment decisions. Concentrate development in one area and see what happens in another area, such as traffic planning or education.
The second project is a virtual tourism bureau for the county. Instead of just reading about Westchester, Norm wants to create a virtual world of Westchester to which people could come and visit enough of Rye Playland (the only amusement park run by a county), Caramoor International Music Festival, and other attractions online to want to experience the county for real.
Both are great examples of how virtual technologies can benefit the private or public sector. How do you want to use Second Life-like technologies in your organization?