Another VLM Gizmo – The Location Beacon

December 5, 2012 by
Filed under: DGP4SL Info, New Products, Technical Info 

We recently added a new product to the DG Products for Second Life line called “Virtual Landmarks for Virtual Worlds” or VLMVW. The power and flexibility of the VLMVW system provides a number of valuable advantages to Store Owners and Merchants that operate In-World Store locations. VLMs also have a number of advantages for those that run exhibits, events and any type of in-world function that depends on “Foot Traffic”. A full description of the VLMVW System is contained in our previous blog post “Time To Push Second Life Forward – Virtual Landmarks”.

Simplifying Virtual Landmark Management

While it is a very simple process to update the Region and position associated with a VLM Location, it’s also possible to delegate this task to an automated device. The device that performs this function for VLMVW is called the “Location Beacon”.

The VLMVW Location Beacon Logo Image

The Location Beacon is a single-prim object that is rezzed in-world in the location that corresponds to a previously configured VLM Location. Once rezzed, you copy the VLMurl for the Location and paste it into the prompt box. The Location Beacon will then turn itself invisible and phantom, and then begin continuous monitoring for any changes that need to be posted to the VLMVW Database.

Rez and Forget

Once rezzed and configured, the Location Beacon operates automatically without the need for any intervention. If the Region restarts, the Region Name changes, or you Edit the Location Beacon to move it or reorient it, it will automatically update the VLMVW Database. All of this happens automatically and silently.

When it comes time to move your store or in some fashion update the location stored in the VLMVW Database, the Location Beacon can be used as a “Handle”. You simply move it to the new position and it updates the database automatically. If you are moving to an entirely new Region, you can “Take” the Location Beacon into your Inventory then rez it out again at the new location.

It also has a few “housekeeping” features that ease its use. While it is in normal operation, the Location Beacon remains invisible and phantom. This keeps people from seeing it and, since it is phantom, also prevents them bumping into it. However you can “Reveal” its location simply by touching it once. A second touch will hide it again. When you are done moving the Location Beacon around, if you simply walk away and leave it visible, it will automatically hide itself in about 5 minutes.

The Location Beacon will also check periodically to make sure that the VLM Location it controls still exists. If you delete the VLM or the Location from the VLMVW Database, the Location Beacon will detect that it is an “Orphan” and automatically remove itself. It sends you a single IM that tells you that it has removed itself just before self-deleting. This means you don’t need to wander around your Parcel, cleaning up orphaned Location Beacons; they will remove themselves automatically.

Standard Distribution

The VLMVW Location Beacon is now part of all four versions of the VLMVW System. If you’ve already purchased a copy of VLMVW, you will be receiving a free update shortly that includes the new Location Beacon.


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