Introduction To Second Life Geography

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Second Life Geography

This article is made for newcomers, to help them find a way through. However, since the orientation tools we have (World Map or minimap) are sometimes very confusing, many residents (including me) spent months or years to find their way through.


Second Life is composed of many places that are part of a very large global structure, just the way in real world land from various parcels are continued to form the Earth. There are a few important differences:

  1. The land unit of Second Life is the region/sim. The official name is Region. But, since the word 'region' can also mean a part of a land structure, we will use the word 'sim'. Each sim is operated by a server (or a simulator). You will encounter problems when you move from a sim to another, because you need to exit a server and enter another one. Each sim has the same dimensions, 256/256 meters. The sim is the unit used in Geography. They are the bricks that form larger map structures.
  2. The grid (or Agni) is the virtual world. It is made of about 26000 sims. There is another smaller grid, Aditi, used for testing, with only 120 sims, but that is not important.
  3. Void Ocean is between remote sims. This is a place where there is nothing. Really nothing. Sometimes you might see a hologram (sim surrounding environment) but that actually is projected from inside the sim. New sims are created inside this void, while old sims vanish and are replaced with void. This is why you cannot walk or sail through the entire grid. The presence of this void is what actually divides all grid structures.
  4. Dryland covers a large part of the sims, but not all. There is also submerged land, covered with Water. Water is also blue, but can be differentiated from void. Unike real world, Second Life hosts skyboxes. These are floating structures in the sky. They can be small, sim-size and sometimes they can cover many sims. They create a second world, elevated.

Map structures

By the way sims are grouped and separated by void ocean, they form a larger map structure. Currently, there are the following structures listed:

  • Continent is a structure made of more then 30 sims, connected one with each other and with common Geographic and transportation features.
  • Oceans are part of the map, divided by continents and imaginary lines.
  • Subcontinent is a part of a continent.
  • Microcontinent is a structure with less then 30 sims, connected one with each other and with common Geographic and transportation features.
  • Sim Cluster is a structure with 10 or more sims, not connected one to each other, but not too far one from the other.
  • Sim Group is a structure with less then 10 sims, not connected one to each other, but not too far one from the other.
  • Isolated Sim is a sim located too far from any other sim.
  • Unassociated Sims are sims that cannot be grouped into other structures. They have the same density and look like they are placed at random.

To help Geographic research, Second Life Geography team divided the grid into smaller structures like Grid Sector (a square of 100/100 sims) or Microsector (10/10 sims).

How to find my way through?

This virtual world is really huge. Unfortunately, its dimensions can be a good source of confusion for many people. So, we start step with step.

Map orientation tutorial

This is an exercise that will help you learn in half of an hour what others couldn't in months. Do it slowly and if you don't understand, return and try it again. We will start from sim Da Boom because this is the oldest of all sims and it really is the center of the map. Any orientation exercise should start from here. You can teleport to Da Boom or you can open the interactive map and search for it.

First of all, you need to open the map and zoom it as you can see sim names, just like in the image to right. At this size, you can see where you are. Ground details and buildings are visible, like other aspects also are (roads, water). This is not a rule, many times land owners might create a skybox at 300 meters that blocks you from seeing.


You can go to 'SL Geography Institute' in Achemon sim, Heterocera, to see a large map of all grid structures. This can help you get a clear image of how big this world really is, since you can actually 'walk' on it from corner to corner.

See Also

There is another article that might prove useful, Grid Map And Dimensions. And all Geographic articles are linked to the following article:

Second Life Geography.