Mirror world

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A Mirror World is a representation of the real world in digital form. It attempts to map real-world structures in a geographically accurate way. Mirror worlds offer a utilitarian software model of real human environments and their workings.[1]

The term differs from virtual worlds in that these have no direct connections to real models and thus are described as fictions, while mirror worlds are connected to real models and lie nearer to non-fiction. It's closely related to Augmented Reality but a mirror world can be seen as an autonomous manifestation of digitalized reality including virtual elements or other forms in which information and is embedded.

The term in relation to digital media is coined by Yale University computer scientist David Gelernter. He first speaks of a hypothetical mirror world in 1991. [2]


Programmes such as Google Earth and Microsoft Virtual Earth are examples of 3D mirror worlds.

Open geocoding standards allow users to contribute to mirror worlds. Thus it's possible to make your own geographical data appear as a new "layer" on your computers copy of a mirror world.


  1. ^ Roush, W. Second Earth, Technology Review, Juli/ August 2007: p. 10
  2. ^ Gelernter, D. Mirror Worlds: The Day Software Puts the Universe In a Shoebox... How it Will Happen and What It Will Mean?, 1991.

External links[edit]

  • Second Earth by Roush, W. [1]