Wouldn't it be cool you could just go anywhere you want on The Globe and see what's there? You can! Activate Explore Mode by clicking "Explore" or the binoculars icon on The Globe's control ring.
The Globe shows pictures using Shared Media, sometimes called Media on a Prim, a feature in Second Life viewers that enables them to display content from the Internet on the face of a prim. This enables The Globe to show millions of images without uploading them each to Second Life (for a fee!). To see these pictures, you must have Shared Media enabled. This varies by viewer, but you're generally looking for something labeled "Allow media to auto-play" or similar.
Many people have Shared Media turned off (and many viewers disable it by default) because it can represent a privacy risk: sites outside SL hosting the content displayed on a prim see see a request come in from a Second Life viewer, along with the IP address making the request. In some jurisdictions (notably the European Union) this information is legally considered "personal data."
We can't offer legal or privacy advice. However, all the images shown in Explore Mode are accessed via the Wikimedia Commons. If you're comfortable accessing Wikipedia, The Globe doesn't present any additional concern. Please see the privacy page to learn what information The Globe logs about you (short answer: none).
You can always turn Shared Media off again when you're done using The Globe!
Once you're in Explore Mode, you can click anywhere (and we mean anywhere) on The Globe to learn a bit about that place. When you click, a pin appears marking your spot, and The Globe looks up any information it can about that spot (or spots close by, or the general area at least) and give a brief description in open chat.
If an image viewer is available, The Globe will try to show any available pictures for that location. The Globe comes with a built-in image viewer that can handle four pictures. Other viewers may be able to handle more images or offer larger displays—stay tuned!
Many of the images The Globe displays have captions! If you click an image, The Globe will send you a private message with the caption (if any). It's a great way to learn more about a place—although be warned captions can be in almost any language!
Clicking around is fun, but it can be remarkably difficult to click a precise spot on The Globe. Go ahead, try to click Havana. (We'll wait!) OK, you're back? How many times did The Globe say you clicked the Caribbean Sea? A lot, huh?
Wouldn't it be great if you should just say
show me havana
…in local chat and have The Globe just put a pin in Havana, tell you about it, and show some pictures? Yeah, that would be cool! Why don't you give that a shot? :)
This trick works for lots of places, big and small, and even works for many historical sites, natural locations, landmarks, events, and more. Try these!
where is the university of bologna
where is lake baikal?
go to lake titicaca
where is the titanic
where is bodie california
where is macchu piccu?
where is the kremlin
show me the mount etna
You get the idea! Not every place can be pinpointed this way, but a great many can, making for hours of fun virtually globehopping and seeing how we're all interconnected.
Although it's unlikely for images associated with geographical locations, it is possible some of the images The Globe presents could contain visual or historical content some users might find objectionable or disturbing. (Just like everything else in Second Life!) We cannot screen or otherwise vet these images for content. Again, The Globe is pulling its images from Wikimedia Commons: you can edit that content, just like anyone else on the Internet! If an image is objectionable, you can change it.