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An interactive, 3D, true to scale replica of Berlin in the mirror world Twinity as an innovative marketing and promotional tool. Consumers, potential visitors and tourists, entrepreneurs and business people – their share of online media consumption, online communication and online search for information has increased dramatically. The latest web 2.0 and 3D rendering technology now allow true-to-scale replicas of whole cities to be opened up for internet users worldwide to discover these cities and interact with other parties in the virtual cities live in real-time.
Name of the project:
Twinity: Innovative City Marketing in 3D in Berlin.
Name of the initiator and excecuting party:
Metaversum has received financial support to hire staff (Innovationsassistent). It has also received funds to finance digital content like the interactive Wall Museum showcasing Berlin before and after the fall of the Wall. Funding came from the Mediaboard Berlin-Brandenburg and IBB (Investitionsbank Berlin). A local state-run Investment bank is also a shareholder in the company through its Venture Fund.
Virtual Berlin was launched with the Mayor Klaus Wowereit in 2008 and the Senate of Berlin has cooperated in preparing and communicating the launch. In 2009 the interactive Wall Museum was supported by the Senate and berlin.de and officially launched in the Rote Rathaus (Red Townhall). Several conference presentations were organized and financed where Virtual Berlin was showcased together with the Senate of Berlin, Berlin Partner, Media.net and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg to promote Berlin as a hub for creative industries.
Goals (e.g. policy, research or other):
On the one hand, such an interactive virtual replica is a great way for cities to showcase themselves to the world. The cities can create an online environment where people can engage with the cities’ offers, local inhabitants, creative industry partners and get a sneak preview of what the real city experience is like - something that no 2D website can ever provide. This allows the cities to reach out to a young, enthusiastic and growing online demographic and to have an interactive platform, which mashes up the city experience with options for feedback, discussions and interactions.
On the other hand, it enables creative industry businesses to reach out and communicate with the rest of the world, and market themselves as innovative movers in the global economy.
Start of the project (if applicable end of the project):
Metaversum, the developer and operator of Twinity was founded in 2006 with the vision of creating a realistic virtual world. It is financed by leading international VCs and has been supported by the city of Berlin in many ways.
Place of excecution:
Berlin in Germany.
Why is your project considered as a best-practice:
Close ties to local institutions and partly state funded networks have helped Metaversum to connect quickly with other local creative businesses and find partners to drive the visionary endeavour forward.
The virtual Berlin case study has been a success in many ways. It has attracted roughly half a million virtual tourists and residents and numbers are still growing. Virtual Berlin has featured widely not only in the national media but also in highly esteemed international media and blogs such as The Guardian, The New York Times, Singapore times, Techcrunch, etc.. The mirror world Twinity is still unique worldwide. Singapore and London have followed Berlin’s lead and their virtual counterparts were launched in 2009.
Best response to the project:
Klaus Wowereit, Mayor of Berlin:
Innovative projects from Berlin like Twinity enable people from all around the world to experience the creative metropolis of Berlin on the internet. This opens up a whole new dimension to Berlin. We’re especially happy to see how many new international visitors and inhabitants Virtual Berlin has already gained in the last few days.