Knowledge Palace

Cosma / Communication / Knowledge / Navigation / Worlds / Places / Palace

Knowledge Palace 1
Knowledge Navigation & Exploration Nexus
Terminous, Meins, Quentin, Samoa & Arcata, 40,160 sq. m. (2007-2009)

Cosma: Constructing a Kingdom of Knowledge

Knowledge Palace (K-Palace) was the Beta of the Knowledge Places (K-Places) project which used the virtual world named Second Life to create a 3D interface to the Knowledge Resources hosted on the Cosma Web site. You can find out more about the project on the K-Places page.

As with the K-Gates Alpha sites, the core content of K-Palace was 3D hyperlinks called Knowledge Objects (K-Objects). Magic Windows were 3D links to Cosma, Magic Doors were 3D links to locations in Second Life, and other K-objects linked to Web sites besides Cosma. See more about them on the K-Objects page.

Hundreds of content specific versions of these K-Objects were generated and distributed across content specific “spaces” in K-Palace to create a thematic approach for exploring Cosma, SecondLife and other Web sites.

There was also an extensive collection of “talented” objects such as vehicles, animals, games and rides that were distributed at the same time. They were used to signal the subject of spaces as well as add some fun and value for visitors. Many objects were free to copy and modify (freebies). Others were examples of the best things available for sale in Second Life and were positioned next to Magic Doors that linked to sites where they could be purchased.

The Beta phase of the K-Places project involved consolidating the hundreds of content specific objects and multitude of thematic spaces that were distributed throughout the K-Gates Alpha sites in Linden Village, and integrating them into a single contiguous K-Palace.

However, in reality, there were actually different versions of K-Palaces built over two completely different sites that spanned multiple regions each and evolved from 2007 to 2010 and 2011 to 2012. There are also two other versions of K-Palaces that still exist in Linden Village today. Here is a description of all of these sites.

The first palace site was purchased in the Terminous region in 2007, and work on it was done in parallel to the second half of the development of the K-Gates Alpha sites.

K-Palace was laid out with individual levels dedicated to General Systems, Knowledge Forms and Knowledge Realms respectively.

Knowledge Palace, Cutaway

More sites were added outside on the “grounds” that were parallel in theme and content to the K-Gates sites in Linden Village (Patio, Park, Pool and Pavilion). In addition, the overwhelming popularity of the K-Port site in Linden Village that was focused on Transportation led to the decision to create a similar site on the road to the south of the main site.

One thing led to another, and gradually a large development evolved that was dubbed “Knowledgeland.” It spanned five regions (Terminous, Meins, Quentin, Samoa & Arcata) and was in the center of Sansara (Second Life’s original mainland continent). Without encouragement or discussion, other residents started to build with the white theme used for K-Palace sites — this was the beginnings of what may have become a beautiful city!

The successful integration of far flung K-Gates Alpha sites into a contiguous site led to the decision to expand upon the single-site model for version 1.0 of the K-Places project. That version was named Knowledge Paradise (K-Paradise), and it was released in 2008.

Like the K-Gates in Linden Village, the K-Palace sites continued to be popular and get a lot of traffic after K-Palace was released, so the decision was made to continue and maintain them along with K-Gates and K-Paradise.

Unfortunately, due to a series of “unfortunate events” involving “interactions” with an infamous resident and a Linden Lab employee, the K-Palace sites had to be unceremoniously deleted in late December of 2009.

Knowledge Palace
Knowledgeland Capital
Papa, 19,152 sq. m., Riiki, 13,200 sq. m., Hina, 11,440 sq. m. (2011-2014)

Shortly after Rod Humble became CEO on Linden Lab in 2011, the company made significant changes to their policies that led to a more positive climate for users who developed large and visible sites in Second Life.

A brand new and even better version of K-Palace was quickly established.
Knowledge Palace

This version of K-Palace was structured somewhat differently than the first version. Rather than layering content layers, this one had a central castle where visitors could learn about the color schemes and Systems themes used across all of the spaces at the site.

Then the Knowledge Forms were in dedicated spaces arranged around the castle.

The popularity of Knowledge Party in the K-Gates in Linden Village to host the Expression content led to the decision to recreate that build on the palace grounds. It was based on a circus metaphor and hosted content related to Expression with a special focus on the Arts and Entertainment content. It also had rides and a big top tent with a wide variety of games.

Knowledge Party
Knowledge Party, Inside

Once the Systems Castle and the spaces for hosting the Knowledge Forms were fully developed, there wasn’t enough space left on the existing site to do justice to the content for the Knowledge Realms. This lead to purchasing more land to serve as the “palace grounds” for hosting those spaces.

Knowledge Pier
Transportation Center
Hina, 11,440 sq. m. (2011-2014)

The popularity of K-Port in Linden Village and K-Pier at the previous K-Palace led to the decision to purchase another property for a site dedicated to Transportation.

Knowledge Pier@Knowledge Palace

Like it’s predecessors, the site provided structured access to the array of transportation available in Second Life. There was a boat dock, train station car lot, air field and space port that with free starter vehicles that were easy for newbies to claim, boxes with more free vehicles pre-sorted by type, and Magic Doors to places to buy the best vehicles in Second Life!

There is no video walk-through of this site, but there is one of K-Port in Linden Village that will give you a sense of what it was like to visit.

A series of other builds were also created and this time the entire development was “branded” as Knowledge Capital. It was in the center of Sansara (Second Life’s mainland continent), and as with Knowledgeland, it was one of the largest, most visible features on the map.

Again, without encouragement or discussion, other residents began to build with a white theme. Again, this was the beginnings of what may have become a beautiful white city!   Alas, it was too expensive and unsustainable, so it was discontinued and deleted in 2014.

Knowledge Port & Knowledge Park
Navigation & Exploration Centers
Maryport, 24,048 sq. m. (2015-Present)

After the discontinuation K-Palace and most of the other K-Places sites in 2014, their contents were consolidated into a scaled back version to serve as an archive of the K-Places project.

The archival sites are located in Linden Village (Original K-Port and a larger, adjoining parcel named K-Park in honor of the old K-Park site in Derwent). The sites can only hold a small sample of the spaces and objects that made up the K-Places sites between 2006 and 2014.

The largest archival site is K-Park — it holds some of the spaces and objects that were part of the various K-Parks and serves an interface to the Knowledge Realms on the Cosma Web site.

Knowledge Park@Maryport

There is also a “sky-space” situated above the ground-level sites — it reflects the contents of the K-Palaces and serves an interface to the Knowledge Forms on the Cosma Web site.

Knowledge Palace@Maryport

Here is a video of an extended walk-through of the K-Places archival sites.

This map shows where the archival sites are in Linden Village. If you have a Second Life account and the software installed, then you can click the map to teleport there and explore the sites.

Knowledge Port & Knowledge Park Map

Athena’s Knowledge Palace
Alston in Second Life & Kuula (2020-Present)

There are a series of ongoing experiments with creating “Parallel Places” to test and compare the efficacy of numerous 3D platforms for creating interfaces to Cosma, other Web sites, YouTube’s 360° videos and a variety of types of XR content. Second Life is one of the platforms used for these experiments. The Toy Worlds that are serving as the 3D interface to Cosma right now are also among the “places” used for comparison.

One of the experiments of “parallel places” has involved building a K-Palace at the old K-Point in Linden Village. It holds two rooms that are semi-identical to two Toy Worlds. Both rooms have many Magic Posters and Magic Objects that link to Web content. Of course, these are close siblings of the K-Objects used throughout K-Places in Second Life. If you have a Second Life account and software installed, then click this image to teleport there and explore it.

Knowledge Palace@Knowledge Point

One of the two rooms is called Athena’s Office. Click this image to explore it.

Athena's Office in SL

Here is the Toy World version of Athena’s Office.

You can also explore this Toy World on Kuula.

The other room is the Muse’s Playroom. Click this image to explore it.
Muse's Playroom in SL

Here is the Muse’s Playroom Toy World.

You can also explore this Toy World on Kuula.

The degree to which the Second Life and Toy World versions of Athena’s Office and the Muse’s Playroom are different, and the reasons for that, is a key point to the experiments. However, the conclusions drawn from this exercise are a topic for another time.

You can find out more about the ongoing experiments in creating “Parallel Places” on the Worlds Challenge page.



1.   Some of the content on this page was originally developed for a presentation at MIT in 2009.
Hopper, M. E. (2009, April). Cosma: Constructing a Kingdom of Knowledge. Media in Transition 6 Conference: Stone and Papyrus, Storage and Transmission, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.